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Governor Kay Ivey signs strong pro-life law, May 15, 2019. Governor Kay Ivey / Twitter

MONTGOMERY, Alabama, May 28, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — Alabama’s Republican Gov. Kay Ivey signed into law Monday a ban on private and public entities alike forcing residents of the Yellowhammer State to choose between taking a COVID-19 vaccine or participating in society.

Effective immediately, government entities will be barred from issuing “vaccine passports,” and private businesses will be barred from requiring proof of vaccination as a condition of receiving goods or services, CNN reports. The law does not affect immunization requirements for public schools that existed prior to January 2021, so long as they allow for medical or conscience exemptions.

“I am supportive of a voluntary vaccine and by signing this bill into law, I am only further solidifying that conviction,” Ivey declared. “I made the choice to get the COVID-19 vaccine and glad for the peace of mind it brings. I encourage any Alabamian who has not gotten their shot to roll up their sleeves, and if you have questions, consult with your health care provider.”

As of May 27, more than 1.4 million Alabamans have received a full COVID-19 vaccination, which corresponds to approximately 29% of the state’s population. After an initial surge of vaccinations across the country, vaccination rates have slowed in recent weeks, due to a combination of lack of fear of COVID-19 and concern that the three COVID vaccines currently available in the United States have not been sufficiently studied for negative effects.

While many officeholders and media figures blame online “misinformation” for lingering vaccine hesitancy, considerably less contemplation has been spent on how the government’s own actions contribute to mistrust, from public health officials’ contradictory guidances on every aspect of the pandemic (including masks, lockdowns, and social distancing) to mixed messaging about vaccinated people still potentially transmitting the virus to others.

In addition, many observers critical of the COVID vaccine point to the fact that clinical trials for the currently-authorized COVID-19 vaccines were performed in less than a year, when such trials traditionally take a minimum of two to four years. One of the innovations of the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed was conducting various aspects of the development process concurrently rather than sequentially, but that does not fully account for the condensing of clinical trial phases — each of which can take anywhere from 1-3 years on its own — to just three months apiece. 

Vaccine defenders note that the number of deaths reported to have followed the COVID vaccines is an extremely small percentage of the overall vaccine recipients, and that being listed in the VAERS reporting system does not necessarily establish a causal link to the vaccine.

But others, including numerous medical experts, point to the unusually high number of deaths and side effects reported. In the past, vaccines had been suspended for a significantly smaller number of reported deaths following vaccination. They also argue that leaders’ widespread preference for pressuring Americans into compliance and shutting down debate on the subject evidences a lack of interest in earning Americans’ confidence by getting to the bottom of those deaths. 

In a rare exception from the mainstream media’s dominant vaccine narrative, Bloomberg published an op-ed on May 19 by Faye Flam, who noted that the “original clinical trials [for the COVID vaccines] were set up to get the minimum information needed to win emergency use approval, and follow-up study has been less than systematic.” Flam calls for more rigorous tracking of side effects, especially for “women experiencing disturbing changes in their menstrual cycles.” 

The Alabama law follows similar legislation or executive orders to ban vaccine passports in several states, including Florida, Texas, and South Carolina.

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