South Dakota governor announces bill meant to guarantee medical or religious exemptions to COVID-19 vaccines

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem.
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem.(Dakota News Now)
Published: Jan. 27, 2022 at 11:34 AM CST
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PIERRE, S.D. (KTIV) – South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem has filed legislation she says will ensure medical or religious exemptions from COVID-19 vaccines for private employees who are facing private employer vaccine mandates.

“The COVID vaccination should be a choice, and we should reject the efforts that we are seeing in other parts of the country to divide us into two classes: vaccinated and unvaccinated,” said the Republican governor in an official statement. “Unvaccinated Americans are still Americans. We live in a free country – free to make our own decisions. In South Dakota, we will protect the liberty of our people to make the best decisions for themselves and their families.”

The bill says a medical exemption can be obtained with the signature of a South Dakota physician who signs a certificate that states the COVID-19 vaccination is not in the best medical interest of the employee.

A religious exemption may be claimed if the employee submits a signed statement to the employer stating:  “I, [insert person’s full name], dissent and object to receiving a COVID-19 vaccine on religious grounds, which includes moral or ethical beliefs or principles but not social, political, or economic philosophies or mere preference.”

The bill goes on to say a natural immunity exemption may be claimed with proof of a positive antibody test within the past six months.

You can read Noem’s vaccine legislation here.

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