Gov. Kay Ivey signed an executive order Monday “to fight the overreaching Covid-19 vaccine mandates from the federal government,” according to her office.
In short, the order requires Alabama’s executive branch to cooperate with the attorney general’s office as it challenges the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate; prevents it from penalizing businesses or individuals from refusing to comply with the mandate; orders those who must do so under federal law to make it known Alabama is against the penalty; prevents executive branch contractors from requiring someone provide vaccination status before doing business with them; and protects public employees who refuse to share vaccination status when receiving government services or entering a government building.
“The federal government’s outrageous overreach has simply given us no other option but to begin taking action, which is why I am issuing this executive order to fight these egregious Covid-19 vaccine mandates,” Ivey said. “Alabamians — and Americans alike — should and must have the choice to roll up their sleeves to get this shot and certainly not (be) forced by government.”
Agencies and departments within the executive branch include the offices of governor, lieutenant governor, AG, state auditor, secretary of state, state treasurer, county sheriffs, commissioner of agriculture and industries, and the state superintendent of education. Ivey’s order applies to those offices and any other agency, department, board, commission or entity within the branch.
She said she wants to ensure the state of Alabama never forces anyone to take an unwanted Covid-19 vaccine. If someone is found to be in violation of Monday’s executive order, they can be reported to the AG’s office, which will investigate the report, according to the order.
“I am adamantly opposed to federal mandates related to the Covid-19 vaccine and adamantly opposed to state mandates related to the Covid-19 vaccine, plain and simple,” Ivey said. “As long as I am your governor, the state of Alabama will not force anyone to take a Covid-19 vaccine.”
President Joe Biden has announced several vaccine-related requirements this year that would apply to about 100 million Americans by White House estimates, from Head Start educators to federal contractors to health care settings that receive funding from Medicare or Medicaid.
Ivey has regularly spoken out against the mandates and called her move Monday “one step in this fight but certainly not the last.” She has “no doubt” the order will be challenged in federal courts but that Alabama will stand firm and win.
“The courts are where this will be resolved,” she said. “... Alabamians are overwhelmingly opposed to these outrageous Biden mandates, and I stand firmly with them.”
That said, she remains in full support of Alabamians choosing to get the vaccine. The governor began her own vaccination course just before Christmas last year and in May expanded vaccine eligibility to residents 12 and older.
“The vaccine is our ticket back to normal, and I continue to feel optimistic and hopeful in the positive direction we are moving in as a state,” Ivey said at the time.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Alabama has climbed from lowest vaccination rate in the country to third-lowest for fully vaccinated (44.4%) and ninth-lowest for at least partially vaccinated (54%) as of Monday.
Residents can click here to find a vaccination site and learn more about their vaccine options in Alabama.
Read the executive order signed Monday below.