Gov. Ivey’s challenge to federal vaccine mandate will not change UA policy

Zach Johnson | @ZachJohnsonCW, News Editor

Governor Kay Ivey is seeking to curb the state’s compliance with President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate for federal employees, including UA employees.

On Monday, Ivey issued an executive order preventing any state agency from penalizing an individual or business for noncompliance with Biden’s vaccine mandate.

Biden’s mandate requires all UA employees to be fully vaccinated by Dec. 8, and the University of Alabama System does not plan to change its policy after Ivey’s order.

“Because this vaccination requirement is mandated by the federal government, our institutions do not have flexibility in its application or enforcement,” UA System Director of Communications Lynn Cole said. “Failure to comply will place our universities in jeopardy of losing hundreds of millions of dollars received through federal contracts and awards, as well as thousands of jobs funded by those dollars.”

Ivey said in the executive order that the federal vaccine mandate “threatens to increase vaccine skepticism in Alabama and to severely disrupt the State’s economy.”

“The federal government’s outrageous overreach has simply given us no other option, but to begin taking action, which is why I am issuing this executive order to fight these egregious covid-19 vaccine mandates,” Ivey wrote in a press release. “Alabamians – and Americans alike – should and must have the choice to roll up their sleeves to get this shot and certainly not be forced by government.”