The United States government has confirmed that it will not make anyone living there obtain a so-called Covid vaccine passport to prove they’ve been injected. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the country’s federal government would avoid imposing a passport-style system at a press conference on Tuesday.
She said: ‘The government is not now, nor will we be supporting a system which requires Americans to carry a credential. There will be no federal vaccinations database, and no federal mandate requiring everyone to obtain a single vaccination credential.
‘As these tools are being considered by the private and non-profit sector, our interest is very simple from the federal government. Which is Americans’ privacy and rights should be protected so that these systems are not used against people unfairly.’
Psaki continued: ‘There is a movement in the private sector that they can return to events where there are large swathes of people safely in soccer stadiums, or theaters. That’s where the idea originated, and we expect that’s where it will be concluded.’
She added that the US government would soon release a list of questions and answers for people who have answers about potential privacy, security and discriminatory issues that may arise with such passports.
They have become the latest issue to arise as the number of vaccine doses administered in the US hit 167 million.
The passport would take the form of a phone app or printout which proves that the person who holds it has had their vaccine, or a prior Covid infection which has given them protective antibodies.
Supporters include airlines, theaters and sports venues.
They want to be able to demand that people show proof of vaccination or infection to let them board a plane, watch a show, or attend a sports game at a crowded venue.
New York State has already created an Excelsior Pass, which is not compulsory, and allows people who have been vaccinated or have antibodies to prove it by showing a QR code.
Other states, including Texas, have banned state agencies from creating any type of Covid vaccine passports.
Critics say the passports are discriminatory, and that they infringe on people’s privacy.
The US has now recorded close to 30.8 million Covid infections, and almost 556,000 deaths, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University.
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