Gov. Kay Ivey signed a law which banned vaccine passports in the state of Alabama on May 23, 2021.
According to AP News, this bill also includes “language saying universities cannot require students to have vaccines developed after Jan.1, 2021.” This decision follows the FDA’s approval of the COVID-19 vaccine, when many states began to implement policies requiring proof of vaccination before entering public places.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration officially approved the first COVID-19 vaccine on August 23. According to the FDA news release the approved vaccine “has been known as the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, and will now be marketed as Comirnaty, for the prevention of the COVID-19 disease in individuals 16 years of age and older.”
Many people across the country are skeptical about the COVID-19 vaccines despite the FDA’s approval for emergency use. However, with full FDA approval public health officials believe the public will be more confident in the vaccine.
Spring Hill announced Fall COVID-19 protocols for students and faculty via email on August 3. These new protocols sent in place by the college take into consideration the vaccination status of those on campus.
As the school year approached, there were increased COVID-19 cases in Mobile County, making it a high transmission zone for new COVID-19 variants. According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, 4 million doses of the COVID-19 have been administered in the state of Alabama. Spring Hill students all worried what the Fall semester would hold as the start of school approached. Before students returned to campus, Spring Hill sent out updated COVID-19 protocols. While many of the previous year’s restrictions were lifted, students and faculty are still required to wear face coverings in all indoor spaces on campus including classrooms and cafeteria.
In this email, Spring Hill also strongly encouraged “all students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated for COVID-19.” The college has also asked members of the college to voluntarily share their vaccination status through a secure Google form. The college must rely on voluntary submission for COVID-19 vaccination data because of the new law passed by Kay Ivey.