U.S. ‘Vaccine Passports’ In The Works

Posted Apr 1, 2021

With many different states and organizations working on their own form of ‘vaccine passports’, the U.S. government is currently developing a system to try to standardize the handling of this information.

Vaccine passports will not resemble the traditional passport, but most likely may be in the form of either a mobile phone app or printed certificate which would be used a proof of vaccination for COVID-19 (and maybe other diseases). The problem with these is that with no standard definition and with so many variables still in play, acceptability may still be an issue depending on where in the world you decide to visit or work.

These ‘passports’ will most likely not be mandatory across the board, but some airlines, cruise lines and even tour and event management companies may require it. They could even become a requirement to get a job at some organizations.

A leaked document obtained by the Washington Post indicates that the U.S. administration is working on ways to standardize these sources so that Americans can obtain proof of vaccination easily and obtain such proof for free.

The Biden administration and private companies are working to develop a standard way of handling credentials — often referred to as “vaccine passports” — that would allow Americans to prove they have been vaccinated against the novel coronavirus as businesses try to reopen.

The effort has gained momentum amid President Biden’s pledge that the nation will start to regain normalcy this summer and with a growing number of companies — from cruise lines to sports teams — saying they will require proof of vaccination before opening their doors again.

Even though the administration provided no details about how they plan to implement this idea, White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Jeffrey Zients offered a broad response saying that their “role is to help ensure that any solutions in this area should be simple, free, open source, accessible to people both digitally and on paper, and designed from the start to protect people’s privacy.”

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), close to 17% of the U.S. population has already been fully vaccinated. For those against the idea of having to show proof of vaccination, it looks like it may not be a necessity for domestic travel as enough vaccines could be distributed by the end of the year. However those planning to travel to other international destinations where vaccine distribution is still limited, may be required to show proof in order to enter those countries.

It may be some time before these ‘passports’ are fleshed out as factors like vaccine acceptability and fraud still pose a big challenge.

[Featured Photo: StockSnap/Pixabay]

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