Gov. Noem Announces Vaccine Exemption Legislation

Gov. Noem Announces Vaccine Exemption Legislation

PIERRE, S.D. – Today, Governor Kristi Noem filed legislation to guarantee medical or religious exemptions from COVID-19 vaccines for private employees who are facing private employer vaccine mandates. The bill also recognizes natural immunity.

“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 Governor Kristi Noem. “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.”

A medical exemption can be obtained with the signature of a South Dakota physician who signs a certificate attesting that 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.”

A natural immunity exemption may be claimed with proof of a positive antibody test within the past six months.

Governor Noem previewed her vaccine legislation last year when she signed Executive Order 2021-14, protecting state employees from President Biden’s unconstitutional vaccine mandates. This legislation extends similar protections to private workers. Governor Noem also discussed the legislation in her 2022 State of the State Address.

You can read Governor Noem’s vaccine legislation here.


9 thoughts on “Gov. Noem Announces Vaccine Exemption Legislation”

  1. What is this religious exemption, Kristi? All anyone has to do is sign that it’s against their “moral or ethical beliefs or principles”? Anyone… absolutely anyone can claim that.

    I would like to know how the state handled exemptions to all of their own mandatory vaccines in the past. It seems to me that this is going to make enforcement of other vaccine requirements much more difficult. Is the state also going to accept these broad exemptions?

    Lastly, I thought she was not going to interfere with the needs of private business on this. Another flip-flop.

  2. This is a fake religious exemption and it’s a joke.

    Thune, Rounds and Johnson are serious people. They have to be rolling their eyes every time she sends out another press release.

    Who falls for this stuff?

  3. Both the Evangelical and Catholic faiths say getting vaccinated is the Christian thing to do. What faith is she protecting here?

    1. I don’t know what religion you belong to but the Catholic Church doesn’t make pronouncements with that language as it would deny prudential judgment on matters reserved to the faithful acting with a well-formed conscience. And to provide guidance to the faithful, the US Bishop’s prepared this document which includes: “inoculation with the new COVID-19 vaccines in these circumstances can be morally justified.” That is not a statement that failure to take it is the Christian thing to do. In fact, it allows the faithful to discern in prayer their decision.

      Why do so many people try to over-reach and mislead to manipulate people to take the vaccine? You only lose more credibility, similar to what has happened to Faucci and the medical community who are no longer believed by almost half of Americans.

      I can’t speak to the Lutherans.

  4. You might be asking – why now?

    Covid may very well be winding down in the next month or so. And most businesses that have required the vaccine have largely implemented their policy already.

    But, think of all the lives we could have lost if she had thought of this earlier. Maybe “now”… isn’t so bad.

  5. Members of the Tin Foil Hat Society are the ones with the religious objections.
    Can we agree that any belief which cannot be proven empirically is a religious belief?
    You don’t need to believe in a deity, you just need to believe in something that cannot be confirmed by observation, like how the vaccines will make you magnetic and spoons will stick to your neck.

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