Bills to make 'vaccine passport' ban permanent, access vaccine data go to Gov. Burgum

The ban prohibits state and local governments and businesses from requiring vaccination documents for access, funds or services.

Cindy Bohn, left, a teacher in the Light of Christ Catholic Schools, receives a COVID-19 vaccination from McCall Zenker at St. Mary's Academy in March 2021 during a clinic for more than 100 faculty, staff and administrators.
Tom Stromme / Bismarck Tribune file photo

BISMARCK — Two bills on their way to Gov. Doug Burgum would make permanent the state's "vaccine passport" ban and ease access to certain federal vaccination data.

The North Dakota Senate on Tuesday concurred with House amendments to Senate Bill 2274 by Sen. David Clemens, R-West Fargo, and passed the bill in a 29-17 vote. The state House of Representatives last week had passed it, 87-3.

The bill would make permanent the 2021 ban on so-called "vaccine passports," which is set to expire Aug. 1. The ban prohibits state and local governments and businesses from requiring vaccination documents for access, funds or services. The bill would add vaccination status for a vaccine under federal emergency use authorization to the state's ban.

The 2021 Legislature passed the law amid opposition to potential, government-mandated COVID-19 vaccinations. The ban applies to state and local government entities and private businesses, but has many exceptions to its provisions, such as for health care and long-term care providers, correctional facilities, colleges and universities.

House Bill 1207 by Rep. Dick Anderson, R-Willow City, also goes to the governor, after a conference committee met to resolve differences.


The bill would require the state Department of Health and Human Services to "prominently display" online a link to the federal Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System , as well as instructions for reporting such events and for accessing state-specific data. HHS also could compile its own data for use on the website.

The House on Wednesday adopted the conference committee report and passed the bill unanimously. The Senate on Monday adopted the conference committee report. The Senate had passed the bill unanimously in March.

North Dakota lawmakers considered a bevy of vaccination bills this session, as in 2021, and defeated proposals to do away with the state's school immunization requirements, for the Legislature to study COVID-19 vaccines, and to ban colleges and universities from promoting or requiring COVID-19 shots for students.

A governor's office spokesman said Burgum generally doesn’t comment on bills before they reach his desk.

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