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Alabama Governor orders state agencies to fight federal vaccine mandate

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Alabama Governor Kay Ivey has instructed state agencies not to cooperate with the federal vaccine mandate.

On Monday, Ivey signed an executive order requiring state agencies, which includes Medicaid, Mental Health and Human Resources, to oppose and fight the federal Covid-19 vaccine mandate. The executive order prohibits state agencies from enforcing penalties on employees and businesses who choose not to get vaccinated. In a statement, Ivey said, “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,” (Yahoo).

The executive order means that confronted with the federal law, the state entity will need to take steps towards informing the “affected business or individual” that the State of Alabama is not “condoning” the policy (Associated Press). 

In the last week, the Alabama State School System, which is a federal contractor, informed professors and other employees that they must get the shot. Ivey has no jurisdiction in blocking this order, as they are under the federal government and not the state. The Democratic Party of Alabama is unhappy with Ivey’s move, telling the Associated Press in their statement, “What’s wrong with a mandate that protects public health and keeps our hospitals from overcrowding?” 

Ivey has encouraged people to get the vaccine in the past, even calling it “safe and effective” in the executive order. However, only about 44% of Alabama residents are fully vaccinated. Ivey is joining Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) and Governor Greg Abbott (R-TX) in pushing back against President Joe Biden’s federal vaccine mandate.

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