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Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signs law banning COVID-19 'vaccine passports'

By
Don Jacobson
Ivey said in a tweet she has made good on a vow that she wouldn't mandate vaccines in the state of Alabama. File Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI
Ivey said in a tweet she has made good on a vow that she wouldn't "mandate vaccines" in the state of Alabama. File Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

May 24 (UPI) -- Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey on Monday signed into law a measure banning state and local governments from issuing "vaccine passports" as proof of immunization against COVID-19.

Ivey announced she signed Senate Bill 267, which outlaws the issuance of vaccine passports by governments and prohibits them from demanding such proof of immunization as a condition to access services.

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The new law, passed on May 17 on the final day of the legislative session, also bans private businesses from requiring vaccine passports to gain entry to retail stores, restaurants or offices.

Schools will be allowed to continue requiring that students prove vaccination status as a condition of attendance, but only for the specific vaccines that were already required as of Jan. 1.

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Ivey said in a tweet she has made good on a vow that she wouldn't "mandate vaccines" in Alabama.

"I'm supportive of a voluntary vaccine & by signing this bill into law, I'm only further solidifying that conviction," she wrote.

In signing the measure, Ivey joined governors and lawmakers in 10 other Republican-led states in banning or limiting vaccine passports, according to CBS News.

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, for example, signed a bill earlier this month banning businesses from requiring vaccine passports for service. The bill also suspended all local COVID-19 emergency mandates effective July 1.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott last month similarly prohibited state agencies and certain private businesses from requiring patrons to show such a document to receive services.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said last month the Biden administration has ruled out creating a nationwide vaccinations database or instituting a federal mandate "requiring everyone to obtain a single vaccination credential."

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National Institutes of Health official Dr. Anthony Fauci (C) speaks about the coronavirus during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, D.C. Health and Human Services Secretary Alexander Azar (L) announced that the United States is declaring the virus a public health emergency and issued a federal quarantine order of 14 days for 195 Americans. Photo by Leigh Vogel/UPI | License Photo

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