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Alabama AG says schools can’t require proof of COVID vaccine

Marshall said schools that plan to charge students who aren’t vaccinated would also be violating the law.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall on Tuesday issued more guidance on the state’s “vaccine passport” ban, saying schools can’t require students to show proof of COVID-19 vaccinations.

Gov. Kay Ivey in May signed into law the state’s ban on vaccine passports, which also prohibits people from being denied access to schools, universities, businesses and state agencies if they have not received COVID-19 vaccination. 

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The new law doesn’t prohibit schools and universities from requiring proof of vaccinations for any other disease than COVID-19, grandfathering in vaccines that were previously required by law. 

In previously released guidance Marshall said the law doesn’t prevent businesses from requiring COVID-19 vaccines for workers, however. 

Tyson Foods this week announced workers in Alabama and across the U.S. will have to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination. 

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Marshall’s guidance states that his office has received reports that a school was requiring students to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination before returning to campus in the fall, which he said would run afoul of the state law. 

Marshall said schools that plan to charge students who aren’t vaccinated would also be violating the law.

RELATED: Alabama medical groups throughout the state issue joint statement urging vaccination | COVID vaccine near me

Birmingham Southern College plans to charge all students $500 to cover weekly COVID testing but will refund that charge only for vaccinated students, according to news accounts. 

Schools who require regular COVID-19 testing for student-athletes who do not prove of vaccination likely aren’t breaking the law, Marshall said.

This story originally appeared in the Alabama Political Reporter.

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