Vaccine Passports Stiff-Armed by Florida and Texas
Texas Governor Greg Abbott today issued Executive Order GA-35 prohibiting state agencies or political subdivisions from creating a "vaccine passport" requirement in Texas.
And Gov. Abbott’s new Order issued on April 6, 2021, limits the ‘conditioning receipt of services on an individual’s COVID-19 vaccination status.
This Order also prohibits organizations receiving public funds from requiring consumers to provide documentation of vaccine status to receive any service or enter any place.
"As I've said all along, these (COVID-19) vaccines are voluntary and never forced," commented Governor Abbott in a press statement.
"Government should not require any Texan to show proof of vaccination and reveal private health information just to go about their daily lives. That is why I have issued an Executive Order that prohibits government-mandated vaccine passports in Texas.”
“We will continue to vaccinate more Texans and protect public health — and we will do so without treading on Texans' personal freedoms."
Beginning March 29, 2021, anyone age 16 and older became eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in Texas.
As of April 6th, data sources indicate the number of people fully vaccinated in Texas exceeded 4.6 million, representing about 16% of the state’s population were fully vaccinated.
Another state has already issued similar actions.
On April 2nd, Florida’s 46th Governor Ron DeSantis issued a similar Executive Order that restricted requiring so-called COVID-19 vaccine passports for taking part in everyday life such as attending a sporting event, patronizing a restaurant, or going to a movie theater would create two classes of citizens based on vaccination.
And the EO ‘is necessary to protect the fundamental rights and privacies of Floridians and the free flow of commerce within the state.’
However, Americans traveling from Florida and Texas may now have conflicts when visiting New York.
Because, on March 26, 2021, NY Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the launch of Excelsior Pass, a voluntary platform developed in partnership with IBM, which confirms an individual's recent negative COVID-19 test result or proof of vaccination to help fast-track the reopening of businesses and event venues following New York State Department of Health guidelines.
Excelsior Pass can generate a secure QR code, which participating businesses and venues can scan using a companion app to verify proof of COVID-19 negative test results or proof of vaccination.
Furthermore, European leaders appear to be taking an all-in approach to vaccine passports.
The European Commission proposed on March 17, 2021, to create a Digital Green Certificate to facilitate safe free movement inside the EU during the COVID-19 pandemic. This Certificate would be proof that a person has been vaccinated against COVID-19, received a negative test result, or recovered from COVID-19.
An interesting question that Europe and New York have avoided addressing is ‘which of the twelve COVID-19 vaccines currently available would it authenticate in the Digital Green Certificate or Excelsior Pass apps.
Mike Ryan, an executive director of the World Health Organization, stated he supports vaccine certificates to provide a health record for people who have been vaccinated. However, the issue takes on a different consideration if certificates are used to qualify for travel. Ryan indicated that until more countries have equal access to vaccines, it wouldn't be ethical to require proof of vaccination for travel, reported The Hill.
Unfortunately, the US Federal Government appears to be avoiding this evolving debate.
President Biden's chief medical adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci, told the Politico Dispatch podcast on April 5th, ‘the federal government will not mandate the use of vaccine passports for travelers or businesses post-pandemic.
PrecisionVaccinations publishes research-based news. Note: updated for content clarity.