‘Vaccine passports’: Soon to be required?

Gov. Ron DeSantis is firing back against talks from the Biden administration about “vaccine passports.”

The universal system would be used for people to prove they’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19 and would serve as their “pass” to enter businesses, restaurants and events.

DeSantis is calling for legislation to stop the passports, but he may not be able to stop them from coming to Florida.

“It’s completely unacceptable for the government or the private sector to impose upon you the requirement that you show proof of vaccine to just simply be able to participate in normal society,” the governor said during a press conference Monday.

USF Health’s Dr. Michael Teng, Ph.D., a virologist, said U.S. airlines and travelers may have no choice but to comply.

“If it’s required for travel to Europe, if it’s required to travel to Asia, we’re going to have to have some sort of vaccine passport from the United States that will allow us to travel into those places.”

Jase Ramsey, Ph.D., an associate professor of international business at Florida Gulf Coast University, said embracing vaccine passports could also help slow the transmission of the virus in communities like ours.

“As soon as we open the doors to foreigners, especially in South Florida, we want to be sure that people that come here are safe,” he said.

“If you’re in a place where everyone has been vaccinated, you’re clearly in a somewhat safer position than people who are of unknown status who are not vaccinated in terms of spread,” said Dr. Stanley Weiss, an epidemiologist at the Rutgers School of Public Health.

Experts say when it comes down to it, you’ll have a choice.

“It’s just kind of like a driver’s license. Not everybody has a driver’s license. If you don’t have a driver’s license, you just can’t drive. That’s it, that’s fine. And you can choose to ride the bus or walk or ride a bike,” Teng said.

WHO’s position on vaccine passports
International Air Transport Association Travel Pass Initiative

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Reporter:Veronica Marshall
Writer:Jackie Winchester
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