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State Health Officer Harris on possible anti-vaccine mandate legislation: ‘Don’t want to send a message that we need to protect Alabamians from being vaccinated’

During his weekly appearance on the latest broadcast of Alabama Public Television’s “Capitol Journal,” State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris addressed the possibility Gov. Kay Ivey could include language for the legislature to address a federal vaccine mandate in the call for the upcoming special session for redistricting.

Harris told APTV’s Don Dailey he was not involved in the decision-making process. However, he also cautioned against any actions that might lead Alabamians to believe that they needed to be protected from what he deemed a safe vaccine.

“I’m certainly not involved with the Governor’s decision in what to add to the call,” he said. “I will say that we just want people to be vaccinated. We don’t want to see anything put in place that makes it more difficult for people to get vaccinated. Rather to have a mandate or not is not a decision that is going to fall to us in public health. But I would say we also don’t want to send a message that we need to protect Alabamians from being vaccinated. The vaccines are safe. They’re effective. The vaccines that we have now have more safety data than any vaccines that have ever been given to anyone that have ever been approved by the FDA, ever. These vaccines are safe, and Alabamians don’t need to be protected from them.”

“Now their choice on whether to be vaccinated or not — that’s a different issue altogether and not one I’m trying to weigh in on,” Harris added. “But we need people to take away the message that somehow the vaccines are unsafe, and they don’t need to take them — that’s absolutely not true.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.