U.S. states that use COVID-19 vaccine passports

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The use of so-called COVID-19 “vaccine passports” is quickly becoming a divisive issue across the United States – several states, including New York, are embracing the idea, while others have already decided to ban them .

Last month, New York City became the first state in the country to officially launch a digital vaccination passport for residents of the Empire State to verify that they have been immunized against the coronavirus.

The state’s program, dubbed the “Excelsior Pass,” allows New Yorkers to prove their vaccine status, or a recent negative COVID-19 test, in order to access events and businesses.

Manhattan’s Madison Square Garden and Albany’s Times Union Center have already started using the app. Smaller art, entertainment and events venues should also use the pass, Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office said.

Hawaii will conduct testing to possibly launch a digital passport program for vaccines.
Hawaii will conduct testing to possibly launch a digital passport program for vaccines.
Rishi Deka / Sipa United States

Hawaii Governor David Ige told reporters on Monday that his state is testing the technology needed for a vaccine passport, but there is still work to be done.

« [Vaccination passports] won’t happen for at least about four weeks, ”the Democrat said, according to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker also said he supports passports, but added that they should not be required to enter an event or facility.

“As long as it’s your choice,” Pritzker told reporters, according to Patch.com. “If people ask you to show this for a particular place or a private place, they have the ability and the right to do so. You don’t have to show them that. You do not have to go to this place or engage in this activity. ”

While New York City has its Excelsior Pass which can help residents gain easier access to certain venues, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker has said something like this shouldn't be a requirement to attend events.
While New York City has its Excelsior Pass (pictured) which can help residents get easier access to certain places, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker has said something like this shouldn’t be a requirement to attend to events.
NYS Governor’s Office

Meanwhile, leaders of many states – including Florida, Texas, Georgia, Tennessee, Missouri and Nebraska – have already expressed fierce opposition to any use of vaccine passports within their borders.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order on Tuesday prohibiting state agencies or organizations that receive state funds from requiring COVID-19 vaccine passports.

“The government should not require any Texan to show proof of vaccination and reveal private health information just to go about their daily business. That’s why I issued an executive order banning government-prescribed vaccine passports in Texas, ”Abbott said in a statement. “We will continue to vaccinate more Texans and protect public health – and we will do so without infringing on the personal freedoms of Texans.”

New York has rolled out the
New York has rolled out the Excelsior Pass which allows residents to show proof of their COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test.
New York Governor’s Press Office via AP, File

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a similar executive order last week.

“It is totally unacceptable for the government or the private sector to impose on you an obligation to show proof of vaccine just to be able to participate in normal society,” DeSantis said.

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp said on Tuesday he was opposed to “state-mandated” vaccine passports.

“I do not and will not support any type of state-mandated vaccination passport. While the development of several safe and highly effective COVID-19 vaccines has been a scientific miracle, the decision to receive the vaccine should be left to each individual, ”Kemp said on twitter.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee also expressed his disapproval of vaccine passports on Tuesday.

“I am opposed to vaccine passports. The COVID-19 vaccine should be a personal health choice and not a government requirement ”. Lee tweeted.

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp has spoken out against the use of such a COVID passport program in his state.
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp has spoken out against the use of such a COVID passport program in his state.
David J. Phillip / AP

Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts said in a tweet at the end of last month that the Cornhusker state “will not participate in any vaccination passport program”.

“This concept violates two central principles of the American system: freedom of movement and privacy in health care,” Ricketts said.

The Biden administration has said it is working on creating a set of standards for the many private companies that make their own versions of passports – but that it will not manufacture or require its own federal version.

“The government is not now, and neither will we support a system that requires Americans to carry a credential,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said at a briefing Tuesday.

New York became the first state to launch a COVID passport program.
New York became the first state to launch a COVID passport program.
NYS Governor’s Office

“There will be no federal immunization database and no federal mandate requiring everyone to obtain a single vaccination certificate.”

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