Gov. Reeves signs ban on COVID-19 vaccine mandates, vaccine passports in Miss.

Gov. Tate Reeves today announced the signing of House Bill 1509.
Gov. Tate Reeves today announced the signing of House Bill 1509.(Source: Office of Governor Tate Reeves)
Published: Apr. 22, 2022 at 3:04 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 22, 2022 at 3:06 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WDAM) - On Friday, Gov. Tate Reeves signed a bill that will prevent public institutions and agencies from discriminating based on COVID-19 vaccination status.

According to the governor’s office, the law will stop employers from rejecting applicants based on their vaccination status. They will also not be able to discriminate against their employee, in terms of compensation and other benefits, based on their vaccination status.

The law will ensure that students will not have to receive a COVID-19 vaccine to attend any college and university in Mississippi.

The governor’s office said the law will also make it illegal to require children to receive a COVID-19 vaccine as a condition of attending a school, kindergarten or other facilities for children instruction, public or private.

Additionally, the bill ensures employees who have a sincerely held religious objection to receiving a COVID-19 vaccine will not be required to receive one.

”Throughout the pandemic, I’ve encouraged Mississippians to consult with their doctor, study the facts, and decide what’s best for them and their families,” said Reeves. “I’ve made clear that government shouldn’t be in the business of forcing Americans to choose between the COVID-19 vaccine and putting food on their tables, sending their kids to school, or visiting a small business. I’m proud to sign this legislation which protects Mississippians’ medical and religious freedoms.”

The bill does include some exceptions for medical entities.

The legislative ban on COVID-19 vaccine mandates extends to state agencies, public officials, state institutions of higher learning, public community or junior colleges and county, municipalities and other political subdivisions.

The governor’s office said while some states have required vaccination passports, this legislation will ban vaccination passports in Mississippi.

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