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Gov. Ivey signs Alabama vaccine passport ban

Updated: May. 24, 2021 at 11:04 AM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Requiring proof of a COVID-19 vaccination to enter specific establishments is now banned in Alabama.

Monday morning, Governor Kay Ivey signed the bill allowing the ban passed at the end of the legislative session.

The Governor’s Office released the following statement from Ivey:

“Since the development of the COVID-19 vaccine, both Dr. Harris and I have said that we would not mandate vaccines in the state of Alabama. I am supportive of a voluntary vaccine and by signing this bill into law, I am only further solidifying that conviction. I made the choice to get the COVID-19 vaccine and glad for the peace of mind it brings. I encourage any Alabamian who has not gotten their shot to roll up their sleeves, and if you have questions, consult with your health care provider.”

Senator Arthur Orr who sponsored the bill said he’s heard of several places requiring proof of a COVID-19 vaccine to enter not only throughout the country but also here in our state.

“I read about restaurants and bars and businesses that are refusing to allow people in who are not vaccinated. And the concern amongst the legislators is that this will turn us into a two-tier society,” Senator Orr said. “A lot of the unvaccinated would be discriminated against.”

The bill bans government entities, businesses, or institutions of education from requiring proof of a COVID-19 vaccine.

“It would prevent colleges from requiring or mandating these emergency use vaccines for college students,” he said.

The Alabama senator also said a vaccine passport could create a two-tiered society, those who are vaccinated and those who are not. This legislation, Senator Orr said is something that will work to make sure doesn’t happen.

Senator Orr also addressed the bill’s take on educational buildings.

“It also did something that we don’t have in the books that a lot of other states do. It mandated colleges provide a religious or health exemption for our traditional vaccinations,” Senator Orr said.

The signed bill states:

“Institutions of education may continue to require a student to prove vaccination status as a condition of attendance only for the specific vaccines that were already required by the institution as of January 1, 2021, provided that the institutions give an exemption for students with a medical condition or religious belief that is contrary to vaccination.”

Tiffany Thompson’s report included in this story was in our 5 a.m. newscast prior to the Governor’s signing of the bill.

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