Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds and Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey have signed bills into law, joining other states that prohibit COVID-19 vaccine passports at the state level.
Ivey signed Senate Bill 267 (pdf) into law on May 24, while Reynolds signed House File 889 into law on May 20.
“Since the development of the COVID-19 vaccine, both Dr. Harris [the state health officer] and I have said that we would not mandate vaccines in the state of Alabama. I am supportive of a voluntary vaccine, and by signing this bill into law, I am only further solidifying that conviction,” Ivey said in a statement.
Reynolds said she “strongly oppose[s] vaccine passports” last month and that she would like to take legislative or executive action.
The two laws are similar. Both prohibit state agencies from issuing identifications that show personal vaccine records, and further state that no business or government entities should require proof of vaccination to provide admission or service.
The Iowa version specifically targets COVID-19 related vaccine passports while the Alabama version seems to be not limited to COVID-19, only stating “immunizations” and “vaccines.”
Iowa further requires that “grants or contracts funded by state revenue shall not be awarded to or renewed with respect to a business or governmental entity” that violates the law. The Alabama version doesn’t provide any punishment mechanism.
States have taken two paths to counter vaccine passports, either through executive orders or legislation.
Governors from Texas, Idaho, Arizona, South Dakota, Montana, South Carolina, and Wyoming have issued executive orders to ban COVID-19 vaccine passports, while Utah, Arkansas, South Carolina, and North Dakota have passed bills into law to deal with the issue.