The Alabama Legislature this month passed two bills addressing issues relating to COVID-19 vaccination which were signed into law by Gov. Kay Ivey.
One piece of legislation dealt with parental rights concerning students receiving the vaccine at schools. Senate Bill 15, authored by State Sen. Arthur Orr (R-Decatur), disallows a student minor from receiving a COVID-19 vaccine without first obtaining parental consent.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) earlier this month recommended the pediatric COVID-19 vaccine for children ages five to 11.
As the Biden administration has issued a series of edicts making COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for employees in certain workplaces, it has not extended a decree regarding students in public schools. However, that has not stopped other governmental entities and private industry around the nation from debating the topic.
According to The Seattle Times, the Seattle School Board passed a resolution urging the Washington State Board of Health to make COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for students. Additionally, Forbes reported that Disney Cruise Line will require children ages five and older to be fully vaccinated before they can be eligible for services.
While there has been no indication that such a mandate would be issued from the state or federal government, Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth asserted the idea would be “dangerous.”
In a Friday interview with Huntsville radio host Michael Yaffee on WVNN’s “The Yaffee Program,” Ainsworth outlined his objections to government-mandated vaccination for children.
“[I] think that’s extremely dangerous. I’ll be honest, I think there needs to be a lot more research before you start dealing with children and kids on anything, and certainly this issue… but I think just overall I’m against a mandate,” advised Ainsworth. “You start throwing kids in, it makes it even more personal. I’ve got kids. I’ve got twin boys that are 11. I’ve got a daughter that’s 10.”
He added. “I think you start looking at mandating this stuff instead of letting a parent and a doctor to decide what’s best, that is a slippery slope and very dangerous. We don’t need the federal government telling us what we need to do and what’s best for our kids. That’s up to individual parents and also their doctor to decide what’s best for that child, not the government.”
Concerning the possibility for a local public school board in Alabama requiring mandatory COVID-19 vaccination for students, Ainsworth proclaimed that he and lawmakers stood ready to ensure it would not go into effect.
“That’s not going to happen in Alabama. If that does happen, I guarantee the Alabama Legislature will get involved and make sure we ban that. We can’t allow that to happen in Alabama, and I’m certainly going to fight to stop that if there’s any talk of that,” declared the lieutenant governor. “I haven’t heard any talk of that, but if there is, I would certainly encourage and push the legislature to pass legislation to make sure we stop that.”
Dylan Smith is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL