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Northam: Vaccine passports are “at the table” but there are no current plans to request them in Virginia

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Richmond, Virginia (WRIC)-Governor Ralph Northam has not excluded COVID-19 vaccine passports as a condition of entry to certain locations, but on Monday his administration now uses them in Virginia. He said he had no plans.

“It’s an option on the table, but we haven’t chosen to take that option yet,” Northam told 8News on Monday. “We are pleased with the direction of the vaccine program in Virginia and are confident that we will eventually reach herd immunity.”

Vaccine passports may be required for international travelers entering the United States in the future, but CDC authorities have government requirements, federal databases, or national obligations to carry vaccine credentials domestically. He says he does not support it. However, President Joe Biden’s administration is working with the private sector to develop standards for certification.

The state, on the other hand, is divided on the role of vaccine passports.

Instead of paper cards, New York has introduced an app with personalized barcodes. This allows people to prove their vaccination status before entering a particular social activity.

Many Republican states have taken the opposite position, claiming that these qualifications are flying in the face of personal freedom and patient privacy.

The governors of Texas, Florida, Montana, and Arizona have already signed an executive order restricting the use of vaccine passports. The order is generally aimed at prohibiting taxpayer-funded businesses from demanding them, as well as some eligible private sector companies.

Nevertheless, questions about the enforcement power of these orders have led some state legislatures to pursue a more permanent ban.

In Virginia General Assembly, COVID-19 Bill to Prohibit Discrimination Based on Vaccination Status It was rejected by the House Committee earlier this year. Six Republicans supported the Democratic Party to kill the legislation. The final vote was 18-3.

“No one will discriminate against you if you don’t get this vaccine,” said Dr. Mark Sickles, D-Fairfax County. “In most cases, Republicans don’t want to put words in their code that we don’t need.”

“This bill is terrible,” Del said. MarkLevine (D-Alexandria) said.

Republican Del who sponsored the bill. DaveLaRock (R-Loudoun) said education, employment, insurance, state identification, and “in many other situations, banned punishment for refusing to fire.” .. It would also have prevented the state from demanding the COVID-19 vaccine.

“We are worried that our goal is a government that wants to treat unvaccinated people as second-class citizens,” Lalock said. “It doesn’t sound like America, where I know where your personal freedom and the right to make your own decisions are respected.”

During a committee meeting, LaRock was accused of working on the hysteria and disinformation surrounding the emergency authorization process.

Lalock said he has no plans to get vaccinated, but he does not encourage others to avoid vaccination. He said the role of the government should be to provide accurate information and make shots as accessible as possible.

“I think people should hesitate, pause, look at the pros and cons, and make informed decisions,” La Rock said.

In an interview last week, Virginia’s vaccine coordinator, Dr. Danny Avla, acknowledged concerns about personal liberties, but added that a vaccine passport could allow the state to reopen more quickly. He also emphasized that the shots are safe and effective.

“If our ability to move forward as a society, to open a business, to open a school depends on it, we encourage it and take every possible way to reach where we potentially need it. You’ll find it, but I think we’re far from it, “Avula said.

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