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What Are the Roadblocks to a 'Vaccine Passport'?


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The Heliix Health Passport.

The Heliix Health Passport is one of many developers are working on as a way of sharing coronavirus vaccine and testing information quickly and securely.

Credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

With all American adults soon to be eligible for Covid-19 vaccines and businesses and international borders reopening, a fierce debate has kicked off across the United States over whether a digital health certificate (often and somewhat misleadingly called a "vaccine passport") should be required to prove immunization status.

Currently, Americans are issued a white paper card as evidence of their Covid-19 shots, but these can easily be forged, and online scammers are already selling false and stolen vaccine cards.

While the federal government has said it will not introduce digital vaccine passports by federal mandate, a growing number of businesses — from cruise lines to sports venues — say they will require proof of vaccinations for entry or services. Hundreds of digital health pass initiatives are scrambling to launch apps that provide a verified electronic record of immunizations and negative Covid-19 test results to streamline the process.

The drive has raised privacy and equity concerns and some states like Florida and Texas have banned businesses from requiring vaccination certificates. But developers argue that the digital infrastructure is secure and will help speed up the process of reopening society and reviving travel.

From The New York Times
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