Vaccine passports: 10 states with bans, limitations & green lights

As the COVID-19 vaccination rollout continues to pick up steam across the U.S., the use of vaccine passports has left many concerned about health privacy protections.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said April 6 that the federal government is "not now nor will be supporting a system that requires Americans to carry a credential," and that "there will be no federal vaccinations database and no federal mandate requiring everyone to obtain a single vaccination credential," according to The New York Times.

Here are 10 states that have pledged support for vaccine passports or opposition to the tech, listed in alphabetical order.

1. On April 2, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed an executive order prohibiting the use of COVID-19 vaccine passports in the state, citing privacy concerns and freedom as the main reasons for the ban.

2. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp tweeted his opposition April 6 to "any kind of state-mandated" vaccine passport, writing that "While the development of multiple safe, highly effective COVID-19 vaccines has been a scientific miracle, the decision to receive the vaccine should be left up to each individual."

3. Hawaii Gov. David Ige said April 5 that the state is testing the tech needed to support a vaccine passport, but that it won't be ready for another four weeks or so, according to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

4. Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said he thinks a vaccination app would be useful but should not be mandatory to enter any event or facilities, stressing that the tech would be offered as a personal choice, according to a March 24 Center Square report.

5. Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds pledged on April 7 that the state will oppose vaccine passports legislatively or on an executive level as she believes the tech violates personal choice, privacy and HIPAA, according to local CBS affiliate KMTV.

6. Louisiana has not yet decided on any vaccine passport programs in the state, with Gov. John Bel Edwards referring to it being "a little early in the process to know how these kinds of vaccine verifications would actually work," according to an April 7 local NBC affiliate WDSU report. 

7. Nebraska will not participate in any vaccine passport initiatives, Gov. Pete Ricketts announced March 31, claiming the tech is a violation of "two central tenets of the American system: freedom of movement and healthcare privacy."

8. In March, New York became the first state to launch a COVID-19 vaccine passport, dubbed Excelsior Pass. The digital platform is free and voluntary for New Yorkers to confirm recent negative PCR or antigen test results as well as proof of vaccination.

9. Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee also took to Twitter April 6 to vocalize his opposition of the tech, writing that he believes the "COVID-19 vaccine should be a personal health choice, not a government requirement."

10. Texas also instituted a ban on COVID-19 passports April 5, which prevents the state and some businesses from requiring passports of customers to prove they have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

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