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Gov. Reynolds “strongly” against Vaccine Passports; will issue legislation or executive action against it

Published: Apr. 7, 2021 at 11:47 AM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds on Wednesday said she will issue an executive order or legislation against the use of “vaccine passports.”

“Vaccine Passports” are digital or physical proof of vaccination against the coronavirus. Some companies might require them to attend events or fly on planes. The White House, on Monday, said it won’t back any system “that requires Americans to carry a credential” to show they’ve been vaccinated.

Gov. Kim Reynolds said she believes in the efficiency of the vaccine and will continue to promote the vaccine. But, won’t force Iowans to get the vaccine.

“I’ve consistently put my trust in Iowans to do the right thing rather than demand or mandate it, and vaccination is no different,” Reynolds said. “While I believe in the efficacy of the vaccine enough to get it myself and encourage Iowans to do the same, I also respect that it’s a personal choice. But I strongly oppose vaccine passports and I believe that we must take a stand as a state against them.”

Iowa is also expected to receive its largest allocation of COVID-19 vaccine doses. However, the Governor said it would receive a significantly lower amount of Johnson and Johnson vaccine for the next two weeks. The Governor said those remaining doses will go to college students and others who might benefit from a single dose vaccine rather than a two dose vaccine.

The allocation of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine has been controversial over the past week.

In an email, which our KCRG-TV9 i9 Investigative Team received though an open records request, Linn County Public Health strongly critiques the state’s handling of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine.

The county public health agency was frustrated Iowa gave 3,200 doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine to Hy-Vee to give to employees at Collins Aerospace in Cedar Rapids. Instead, Linn County Public Health wants those doses to go to harder to reach populations.

After our i9 Investigation was published, officials with the Iowa Department of Public Health clarified how it’s prioritizing who gets the single-dose Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.

On Attacks at the Anamosa Prison

Governor Reynolds said the Director for the Department of Corrections will be making multiple changes after an inmate attack killed two different staff members. That will include an outside and internal investigation.

The changes, which our KCRG-TV9 i9 Investigative Team reported on Tuesday, include creating a “Director of Prison Security” focused on assessing and improving the security of the prisons, assessing and making investments in additional fixed-camera, body-worn camera, and IT-related security measures.

A spokesperson for the department said it plans to add additional tool-control measures both for work crews and workshops, add training opportunities, and conduct feedback forums at every prison in order for staff to voice their concerns.

The department head also plans to order an immediate halt to all work programs and inmate labor related to tool control, and for security directors and deputy wardens to complete an assessment on the procedures around these programs that involve tool control with a brief submitted to the central office within a week.

The Governor also discussed adding more funds to the department. Although, she did not directly answer if she believed the prison was understaffed.

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