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States Respond to COVID-19: Vaccine Passport Programs

As states continue COVID-19 vaccination campaigns, some have considered implementing vaccine passports — credentials to show proof of inoculation.

New York was the first state to launch this concept; the no-cost Excelsior Pass is a voluntary digital platform that allows New Yorkers to confirm recent negative COVID-19 tests and show proof of vaccination. Hawaii is testing similar technology that would enable a vaccine passport system; the state expected to release more information in the coming week.

Other states have expressed concerns about such policies. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) both signed executive orders barring their respective states from using a COVID-19 vaccine passport, citing privacy concerns as a main reason for the ban. Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) announced in a press release the state will not participate in any vaccine passport programs as he believes the concept violates both freedom of movement and health care privacy. In addition, the governors of Georgia and Tennessee both tweeted their opposition to vaccine passports.

Visit the America’s Essential Hospitals coronavirus resource page for more information about the outbreak.

Contact Senior Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at eomalley@essentialhospitals.org or 202.585.0127 with questions.

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About the Author

Abigail Painchaud is a policy associate at America's Essential Hospitals.

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