Tag: vaccines

Lawmakers Pass 2 Vaccine Mandate Bills in Final Night of Session

MONTGOMERY — The Alabama Legislature late Thursday passed bills to make it easier for workers in the state to opt out of federal COVID-19 vaccine mandates and prohibit minors from getting vaccinated against the virus without parental consent. Gov. Kay Ivey signed the bills Friday.

Lawmakers worked into the night on compromises between Senate and House-passed versions of the bills. The road to final passage on both bills was bumpy in the week-long special session that was supposed to focus on voting district maps.

At times the legislation pitted the GOP-dominant Legislature against business groups in the state. Senate Bill 9 would allow employees to claim religious or medical exemptions to the COVID-19 vaccine through a standardized form given to employers. The law will sunset, or expire, in May 2023. Read more.

Earlier in the Legislature:

Legislature Wraps Redistricting Work, Sends Maps to Ivey

Vaccine Mandate Exemption Bills Move to Final Votes Thursday

MONTGOMERY — The Alabama Legislature could give final approval Thursday to legislation supporters say protect workers and residents in the state who want exemptions from federal COVID-19 vaccine requirements.

Senate Bill 9 and Senate Bill 15 are two of several bills the GOP-led legislature filed in this special session to push back against federal mandates and protect the unvaccinated. While the mandates for federal workers and contractors and large employers already allow for medical and religious exemptions, supporters of Senate Bill 9 say it creates an easy-to-use form for employees seeking those exemptions.

Senate Bills 9 and 15 put GOP supporters at odds with the state’s business community, which argues the legislation creates confusing, dueling mandates on employers. Read more.

Also in the Legislature Wednesday:

Legislature Wraps Redistricting Work, Sends Maps to Ivey

MONTGOMERY — State lawmakers wrapped up their work on redistricting Wednesday, sending all four maps redrawn with Census 2020 data to Gov. Kay Ivey.

The Senate gave final approval to the congressional and Alabama House of Representatives district maps. Meanwhile, the House passed new district maps for the state Senate and the Alabama State Board of Education. Read More

COVID Vaccine Eligibility Expanding to Include Those 55 and Older

As of March 22, Alabama will expand coronavirus vaccine eligibility to include people ages 55 and older, people 16 and older who have high-risk medical conditions, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and additional critical workers.

That’s about 2 million more people who will become eligible for the vaccine, while the state receives between 110,000 and 120,000 first doses of the vaccine each week, according to a statement released Friday by the Alabama Department of Public Health. Once the new categories are added, two-thirds of Alabama residents will be eligible for the vaccine. Read more.