TSR Politics: While public health officials are working tirelessly to get Americans vaccinated in hopes of moving forward in ending this global COVID pandemic, Arizona’s governor flexed his powers to ban local and regional governments from making “vaccine passports.”
The term has been used for agencies and businesses that require proof of vaccination from the coronavirus from people before they enter a building or business to get services.
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey called it an “encroachment” on the private medical information of Arizona residents, according to the Associated Press. Ducey signed the executive order Monday, which also bans state agencies or businesses that contract with the state government from requiring vaccine passports.
“While we strongly recommend all Arizonans get the COVID-19 vaccine, it’s not mandated in our state — and it never will be,” Ducey said in a statement. “Vaccination is up to each individual, not the government.”
To be clear, private businesses that decide they want to require vaccine passports — along with health care providers, child care facilities, schools and universities — are exempted from the ban.
Also on Monday, Ducey rescinded his executive order from July that directed K-12 schools to require face masks.
“Nearly 2 million Arizonans are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, with many teachers and school faculty now fully vaccinated after being some of the first in line for vaccine prioritization,” Ducey said in a statement. “Teachers, families and students have acted responsibly to mitigate the spread of the virus and protect one another, and our school leaders are ready to decide if masks should be required on their campuses.”
Despite Ducey’s governmental vaccine passport ban, Arizona’s top three public universities are considering whether to require students, as well as faculty and staff, to be vaccinated. The University of Arizona’s president already told reporters that she would be in favor of the mandate.
It will be interesting to see if other schools follow suit. On Monday, it was reported that Morehouse, Spelman and Clark Atlanta University announced they’d be requiring students and staff to be vaccinated before returning to campus.
We’ll keep you posted.
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