A draft letter by Ketchikan Borough mayor seeks to assure the public that their civil rights will be respected, and that any use of the COVID-19 vaccine in Ketchikan will be purely voluntary.
Mayor Rodney Dial says citizens should never be required to disclose personal health information, such as whether they have been vaccinated, in order to access goods and services from either private entities or the government.
Dial will introduce a resolution to be heard at the Dec. 21 meeting of the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly meeting.
Dial said his resolution is in response to a number of concerns he has heard from citizens that the vaccines will eventually be required for things like traveling on aircraft or ferry between islands, or health procedures such as dental work.
Gov. Mike Dunleavy has also declared that vaccines are optional, but Mayor Dial is addressing the possible use of coercion, such as if a businesses requires proof of vaccination to access goods or services, or requiring tourists to show proof of vaccination before disembarking in Ketchikan. He wants an affirmative resolution in Ketchikan that reasserts constitutional protections.
Mayor Dial views this as a civil rights issue, and said the resolution he proposes seeks to reassure the citizens of the First City that their liberties and privacy are important and will be protected.
He stressed that this is not his statement on the vaccine, either for or against. He wants the vaccine to be made available to all who want it, as quickly as possible. His resolution to protect the civil liberties of residents of his community is being offered to the Assembly for their approval, he said.