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Alabama officials: “No COVID-19 vaccines mandates for school”

The declarations come in response a CDC committee’s vote to add COVID-19 vaccines to the recommended immunization schedule for children.

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The COVID-19 vaccine is now a part of the recommended immunization schedule for children and adults after the unanimous vote of a CDC advisory committee on Thursday. 

According to the committee, children six months and older should get the vaccine and boosters when they are eligible for it.

Before the committee could even vote on the issue, Fox News host Tucker Carlson tweeted Tuesday that the committee was set to mandate the vaccine for schoolchildren.

The CDC has since corrected the claim, noting that it can only make recommendations and cannot mandate that schools require the vaccinations.

“States establish vaccine requirements,” the CDC responded to Carlson in a tweet.

But that hasn’t stopped political leader in Alabama from adding their own clarifications that the vaccine will not be mandated in state schools.

“Here in Alabama, the parents make decisions when it comes to their children’s health care,” Gov. Kay Ivey tweeted Thursday. “We do NOT mandate the covid shot for kids – nor will we ever.”

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Attorney General Steve Marshall pointed to the state’s vaccine passport law, updated in a special session near the end of 2021, that prevents proof of vaccination as a requirement for entry to numerous places, including schools.

“It prohibits institutions of education—both public and private—from requiring students to prove any new immunization status as a condition of attendance,” Marshall said in a July 2021 public notice. “In other words, no government, school, or business in Alabama may demand that a constituent, student, or customer, respectively, be vaccinated for COVID-19 or show proof of his or her vaccination for COVID-19.”

Ivey, along with the majority of the Alabama Legislature, have resisted mandates from the federal government regarding COVID-19 vaccines, adding exemptions for religious and medical reasons in response to a Biden OSHA policy mandating immunizations for employees of certain businesses.

Jacob Holmes is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can reach him at [email protected]

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