Ivey: Alabama will never add COVID-19 shots to childhood immunization schedule

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WHNT) – A new recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that COVID-19 vaccines should be added to childhood and adult immunization schedules.

Gov. Kay Ivey (R-Ala.) says that will never happen in Alabama, according to a Tweeter Thursday.

“Here in Alabama, parents make decisions about their child’s health care,” Ivey tweeted. “We don’t mandate COVID injections for children – nor will we ever.”

According to the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH), to receive a healthy start or day care, children must be immunized against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, measles, mumps, rubella, Haemophilus influenzae type B, poliomyelitis and varicella. To see the full list of required vaccinations in Alabama, click here.

The CDC stressed that while it can make recommendations for vaccine use, vaccination requirements for school entry can only be set by local and state authorities. Full timetables and guidelines are expected to be released in early 2023.

On Friday, Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall joined 11 other state attorneys general in opposing the CDC’s recommendation.

“The CDC’s decision is unnecessary and, in many states, subjects children to retaliation for their parent’s or guardian’s decision to refuse COVID-19 vaccinations,” Marshall explained. “Alabama law prevents educational institutions – public and private – from requiring students to prove any new vaccination status as a condition of attendance.”

The law Marshall is referring to was signed by Governor Ivey last summer. The bill stated that no vaccine requirements for students could change as long as they were in place before January 1, 2021. Students are also allowed to withdraw for religious reasons or medical conditions.

ADPH’s COVID-19 dashboard indicates that about 36% of people aged 12-17 have been vaccinated against COVID-19, while only 14.6% of people aged 5-11 have been vaccinated.

See more information about COVID-19 vaccinations for all ages at alabamapublichealth.gov.


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