If you're planning a trip to South Dakota any time soon, you won't have to worry about having a COVID-19 vaccine passport handy on the plane.

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem recently signed Executive Order 2021-08, which bans government-instituted vaccine passports in South Dakota.  

In a press release, Governor Noem explains that the state has not enforced government mandates throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, she truly believes that South Dakota is stronger for that reason alone.

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Governor Noem states:

“Since the start of the COVID pandemic, we have provided the people of South Dakota with up-to-date science, facts, and data and then trusted them to exercise their personal responsibility to make the best decisions for themselves and their loved-ones."

Governor Noem does not intend to "restrict" South Dakotans' freedom and rights. "In our state, ‘Under God, the people rule.’ And that is how we will operate for as long as I am governor," says Governor Noem.

Despite not permitting the vaccine passport in the state, Governor Noem is strongly encouraging all eligible residents to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.  This includes anyone who is 16-years or older.

The South Dakota Department of Health is reporting that a total of 537,671 doses of either the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson have been administered in the state.  Over 52% of the state's population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.  39% of the population have the COVID-19 vaccine series complete.  Over 82,000 recipients in Minnehaha county have received the vaccine.  Over 25,000 recipients in Lincoln county have also received the COVID-19 vaccine.

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