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The federal government will not mandate COVID-19 vaccination passports, White House reiterates

Summary List PlacementWhite House press secretary Jen Psaki on Tuesday made clear that the federal government will not require Americans to carry proof of their COVID-19 vaccination status in order to travel and generally attend events.  "The government is not now nor will we be supporting a system that requires...

jen psaki

Summary List Placement

White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Tuesday made clear that the federal government will not require Americans to carry proof of their COVID-19 vaccination status in order to travel and generally attend events. 

“The government is not now nor will we be supporting a system that requires Americans to carry a credential,” Psaki told reporters during a news conference. “There will be no federal vaccinations database, and no federal mandate requiring everyone to obtain a single vaccination credential.”

So-called vaccination passports — a form of identification to show that an individual has received the COVID-19 vaccine — have gained momentum as the US prepares to open up and return to normal this summer.

Some private companies have floated ideas to require vaccination IDs to ensure safety for travel, at the workplace, and at large events, such as sports games and music concerts.

Andy Slavitt, acting director of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said last week that such a project is being considered by the private sector. Psaki reiterated this on Tuesday, saying: “That’s where the idea originated and we expect that’s where it’ll be concluded.”

The White House plans to issue guidance on privacy concerns related to vaccination credentials “soon,” Psaki said.

“Americans’ privacy and rights should be protected,” Psaki said, adding that any credential system should not be used against people “unfairly.”

The Biden administration has previously shut down the possibility of a federal program that would verify an individual’s vaccination status. Top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci also told Politico on Monday that the federal government will not enforce a vaccination credential system. 

Still, some states, including Texas and Florida, have begun banning government-mandated vaccination passports, blasting the move as a violation of personal freedoms.

“Texans shouldn’t be required to show proof of vaccination and reveal private health information just to go about their daily lives,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said on Tuesday. 

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