A “vaccine passport” is documentation confirming that a person has received the COVID-19 vaccine.
Vaccine Passport is typically an app with a code that verifies if someone has been vaccinated or recently tested negative for COVID-19. They are in use in Israel and under development in parts of Europe, seen as a way to safely help rebuild the pandemically destroyed travel industry.
Those in favor of requiring vaccination certification argue that the documentation could facilitate reopening, mass events and international travel.
Although U.S. public schools in all 50 states have required students to receive their vaccines unless schools approve certain medical or religious exemptions, those who oppose a COVID-1
Republicans have largely condemned the idea of requiring documentation proving that a person has been inoculated in order for the person to participate in certain public activities – an idea that some states and countries have hovered or adopted.
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Florida Government Ron DeSantis and Texas Government Greg Abbott have already issued decrees restricting the use of such documentation in their respective states. DeSantis and Abbott also issued orders banning mandates for state masks – another much-debated topic – leaving such rules to individual localities and businesses.
At the federal level, the White House said Tuesday that it will not support a national vaccine card requirement. UK leaders are weighing the possibility, according to the BBC, and EU officials have proposed “digital green certificates” which would confirm whether a person has been vaccinated, tested negative or recovered from COVID-19.
Already in April last year, the Chinese government required citizens to present a green symbol on their smartphones, saying that a user is asymptomatic to board a subway, check into a hotel, or walk into Wuhan. In March, China launched travel certificates using QR codes showing a person’s test results, vaccine and other information, according to state media.
The certification program designed to facilitate safe travel is available via the Chinese social media app WeChat and made possible by the Chinese public’s almost universal adoption of smartphones as well as the ruling Communist Party’s embrace of “Big Data” to expand its surveillance and control over society.
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The health codes add to an ever-growing array of high-tech surveillance that tracks what China’s citizens do in public, online and in the workplace: millions of camcorders cover streets from major cities to small towns. Censors monitor activity on the Internet and social media. State-owned telecom operators can track where mobile phone customers are contacting.
A large, computer system popularly known as social credit is intended to enforce obedience to official rules. People with too many write-downs due to violations ranging from committing criminal acts to waste can be prevented from buying airline tickets, getting loans, getting government jobs or leaving the country.
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The ACLU claimed in a blog post on March 31 that “a vaccine passport will encourage overuse … when people are asked for credentials at every turn.”
“While there are legitimate circumstances in which people may be asked for proof of vaccination, we do not want to become a checkpoint community that surpasses the danger of COVID and randomly excludes people without credentials from facilities where vaccine mandates are not very justified. , “Wrote Jay Stanley, senior policy analyst with ACLU’s speech, confidentiality and technology project.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.