MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WHNT) — A new recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says COVID-19 vaccines should be added to child and adult immunization schedules.
Governor Kay Ivey (R-Ala.) says that will never happen in Alabama, according to a tweet Thursday.
“Here in Alabama, the parents make decisions when it comes to their child’s health care,” Ivey tweeted. “We do not mandate the COVID shots for kids — nor will we ever.”
According to the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH), to attend head start or day care, children must be vaccinated against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, measles, mumps, rubella, Haemophilus influenzae type B, polio, and chickenpox. To see a full list of required vaccinations in Alabama, click here.
The CDC stressed while it can make recommendations for the use of vaccines, vaccination requirements for school entry can only be set by local and state authorities. The full schedules and guidance are expected to be posted 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 or guardian’s decision to decline COVID-19 vaccinations,” Marshall explained. “Alabama law prevents institutions of education — both public and private — from requiring students to prove any new immunization status as a condition of attendance.”
The law Marshall referred to was signed by Governor Ivey last summer. The bill stated no vaccine requirements for students could change as long as they were in place before January 1, 2021. Students are also allowed to opt out for religious reasons or medical conditions.
ADPH’s COVID-19 Dashboard indicates around 36% of those aged 12-17 were vaccinated against COVID-19, while just 14.6% of those ages 5 to 11 were vaccinated.
See more information on COVID-19 vaccinations for all ages at alabamapublichealth.gov.