The US government would not issue so-called “vaccine passports,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Tuesday, after Texas sought to limit their development because of privacy concerns.
“The government is not now, nor will we be, supporting a system that requires Americans to carry a credential,” Psaki told reporters at the White House. “There will be no federal vaccinations database and no federal mandate requiring everyone to obtain a single vaccination credential.”
The administration wants to protect Americans’ privacy and does not want vaccine passports “used against people unfairly,” Psaki said.
Some businesses and universities are pushing for people to show proof of vaccination — for example, before boarding cruise ships, entering stadiums or returning to campus.
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings plans to resume cruising from US ports from July 4 and would require vaccinations, it said.
Brown University and Northeastern University on Tuesday joined a group of universities that are to require students to get a COVID-19 vaccine to return to campus in the fall.
Vaccine passports are typically conceived of as smartphone apps showing that the holder has been vaccinated against COVID-19, easing travel and use of services, such as restaurants.
The White House had said that any efforts should be led by the private and not-for-profit sectors.
Several states have said that they would not facilitate such requirements.
On Tuesday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican, issued an order forbidding state agencies or any entity receiving public money from requiring vaccine passports.
That effort follows a similar ban by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, also a Republican, against the sort of Excelsior Pass established in New York state, which allows residents to verify their vaccinations or negative test results before entering concert venues or stadiums.
Psaki said guidance would be given that “provides important answers to questions that Americans have, in particular around concerns about privacy, security or discrimination soon.”
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