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22 May, 2021 17:24

Arizona fails to pass ban on Covid-19 vaccine passports

Arizona fails to pass ban on Covid-19 vaccine passports

Arizona officials have shot down a measure which would prohibit most third parties, such as businesses or public schools, from mandating Covid-19 vaccines.

The measure, House Bill 2190, failed to pass on a 16-13 vote, with Republican Sen. TJ Shope joining with Democrats in voting against the bill.

The measure prohibited third parties like schools and businesses from mandating vaccines, as well as inquiring whether someone is vaccinated. Health professionals and institutions would have been exempt from the rule, had it passed. 

Violation of the rule would have meant a fine and possibly 30 days in prison. 

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The vote follows Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey signing an executive order in April banning vaccine passports from being enforced by state and local governments in order for an individual to enter an area or receive service. 

“Vaccination is up to each individual,” he wrote in his announcement, “not the government.” 

There have been multiple efforts led by Republicans to push back against the potential of vaccine passports, which the White House has said will not be mandated by the federal government, but could be pushed by individual businesses. 

In response to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) walking back its masking guidance, multiple corporations have updated their policies to state that fully vaccinated individuals can refrain from masks and social distancing, but the question has become how to tell who has been vaccinated and who has not. While more conservative lawmakers have argued vaccinated individuals have little to worry about when it comes to infection from non-vaccinated people, others have argued a system is needed to keep CDC guidance from operating on an honor system.

The Iowa legislature passed a bill earlier this month saying local governments and businesses would be denied state money and contracts if they required proof of vaccinations from people. Govs. Ron DeSantis (R-Florida) and Greg Abbott (R-Texas) are among the governors who have signed executive orders banning vaccine passports in their states. 

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