Bill would ban ‘vaccine passports,’ school districts from requiring vaccines

Written by on May 25, 2021

Bill would ban ‘vaccine passports,’ school districts from requiring vaccines

By Brett Sholtis / Transforming Health

May 25, 2021

Photo | Megan Frank / WLVR

State Sen. Judy Ward (R-Blair and Fulton) is a co-sponsor of a bill gaining traction in the Pennsylvania state senate that seeks to ban so-called “vaccine passports” from being required by state or local government.

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The legislation also would prevent school districts from requiring students to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

The proposal passed the Health and Human Services Committee on May 24.. 

Ward says the government should have no role in requiring people to be vaccinated against COVID-19. 

“Our goal should be focused on getting the vaccine to those who want it, but not punish those who have made a personal choice,” Ward says. 

Pennsylvania Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf says he has no plan to require what Republicans say they fear. 

But state Sen. Art Haywood (D-Philadelphia) notes this legislation would also bar school districts from requiring students to be vaccinated against COVID-19.  

Haywood says he wants to see more research on whether school districts should have the authority to make that decision. 

“That study has not taken place that I’m aware of, so I encourage a no vote on this matter,” Haywood says.

Some Pennsylvania colleges are requiring students to be vaccinated this fall. 

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