Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed an executive order on Tuesday, banning the state government and some private organizations from requiring a COVID vaccine passport (https://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/texas-governor-bans-mandated-covid-19-vaccine-passports-76905322?cid=clicksource_4380645_3_heads_hero_live_headlines_hed). Gov. Abbott is the second governor to do so, following in the steps of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis who signed his executive order on Friday.
Included in Gov. Abbott’s order were state agencies, political subdivisions, and any private or public organizations that are publicly funded. He said, “We will continue to vaccinate more Texans and protect public health — and we will do so without treading on Texans’ personal freedoms.” As it currently stands over 9.1 million Texans have received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine, with 4.5 million of those being fully vaccinated. Gov. DeSantis’s order is similar, banning any government agencies or businesses from requiring a vaccine passport.
Many have grown concerned about talk of vaccine passports. Other countries are already building a database of vaccinated individuals so they can keep track of who they can determine is cleared for “normal activities”. The Biden Administration has been adamant in saying that the federal government will not enact a national vaccine passport program. That being said, they will provide guidelines that focus on privacy and equity.
Should citizens be concerned about vaccine passports? Will these help expedite reopening measures, or do they open the door to greater government encroachment? While vaccination rates are drastically increasing, they currently aren’t being required, and they aren’t available to children yet. Also, current data shows that COVID numbers in states that have fewer restrictions. Is this a statistical anomaly or is the American public starting to build up immunities?
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