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‘Vaccine passport’ ban bill passes Senate

By MARY SELL, Alabama Daily News

The Alabama Senate on Thursday approved a bill to prohibit the issuance of state or local government “vaccine passports.”

Senate Bill 267 sponsor Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, said governments shouldn’t allow access to services based on individuals’ immunization status. Orr talked about the current COVID-19 situation, but the bill isn’t specific to the coronavirus.

The bill says state and local governments  “may not require an individual to receive an immunization or present documentation of an immunization as a condition for receiving any government benefit or service or for entry into a government building…”

It also says an entity or individual doing business in Alabama can’t refuse to provide goods or services to anyone based on their immunization status or lack of documentation.

Some other countries are establishing national databases to allow vaccinated people to resume normal activities, the Associated Press has reported. The White House says it won’t back such a system in the U.S.

Orr told Alabama Daily News that his bill isn’t an attempt to discourage COVID-19 vaccinations, but said the government shouldn’t discriminate against people based on their vaccine statuses. He said some people have legitimate reasons for not receiving the vaccine.

Several other Republican-led states have passed similar measures recently.

The bill passed the Senate 30-0 and now goes to the House.

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