COVID Vaccine Passports Don't Exist Yet But Florida Already Banned Them

by Erica Gerald Mason
(photo: Joe Raedle, Sopa Images, Getty)

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed an executive order forbidding the use of COVID-19 “vaccine passports” throughout the state

As more Americans get vaccinated against COVID-19, the governor of Florida has signed an order that effectively prevents any government entity from providing vaccine passports and blocks companies from demanding proof of vaccination status.

More than a year into the pandemic, the country is beginning to look to reopening on a larger scale — something that can’t be done unless COVID vaccinations become the norm. Knowing how difficult it was to get people to wear masks and social distance, many are calling for a vaccination documentation system that will allow people to prove their medical status and therefore feel safer moving through the world.

However, CNN reports that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis expressed concerns over freedom and privacy as the main reason for banning what some are calling “vaccine passports.”

He claims that the execution and enforcement of vaccine passports would “create two classes of citizens based on vaccinations.” To be clear, COVID-specific “vaccine passports” don’t exist, but are something many who believe in science are talking about and hoping for, so DeSantis preemptively banned a thing that doesn’t exist yet.

Typically, the right-leaning “but my freedoms” crowd tens to err on the side of being anti-COVID vaccine passports.

Another mused that Florida might become their new residence if vaccine passports become a requirement across the country.

The order says numerous Floridians have not yet had the chance to get a vaccine, while some may have infection-acquired resistance, and other folks may be incapable of getting a COVID-19 vaccine because of health, spiritual or other motives.

“Individual Covid-19 vaccination records are private health information and should not be shared by a mandate,” reads DeSantis’ executive order.

Earlier this week, DeSantis voiced disapproval of vaccination passports.

“It’s completely unacceptable for either 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,” he said during a press conference (via CNN).

Yet Florida requires kids to get certain vaccines before enrolling and attending daycare and school.

A Twitter user pointed out a flaw in the Governor’s logic. “Florida Governor Ron DeSantis claims a ‘vaccine passport’ would create ‘two classes of citizens,’” the user posted. “Actually, COVID-19 creates two classes of citizens – alive and dead.”

Some wondered why the idea of keeping track of one’s vaccinations is a bad idea.

“So if I live in Florida and I already have a vaccine passport* — does that make me an outlaw? *They’ve existed for a long time. I got one when we got ready to go to Africa,” the post reads, referring to vaccine requirements that already exist if you want to travel to certain countries.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Monday there will be no federal mandate that would require every American to get a vaccine credential though it’s been said that the Biden administration has been collaborating with non-profits and tech companies to create a set of guidelines for individuals to verify they’ve received the vaccine, according to at least two administration officials.

At any rate, Florida banning COVID “vaccine passports” before they even exist is extremely on-brand for Florida.