Although several state leaders have said they do not want vaccine passports -- a document or app describing one's COVID vaccination status -- the federal government, largely through the Health and Human Services Department, is moving rapidly to have such passports implemented in the United States, according to a Mar. 28 report in The Washington Post.
"The Biden administration and private companies are working to develop a standard way of handling credentials — often referred to as 'vaccine passports' — that would allow Americans to prove they have been vaccinated against the novel coronavirus as businesses try to reopen," said The Post.
"The effort has gained momentum amid President Biden’s pledge that the nation will start to regain normalcy this summer and with a growing number of companies — from cruise lines to sports teams — saying they will require proof of vaccination before opening their doors again," reported the newspaper.
Apparently, then, if you want to patronize certain businesses or take part in certain events, you may be required to show proof of your vaccination.
Israel already has such an internal program called the "Green Pass." In order to shop or patronize certain businesses, one must show the Green Pass, which is scanned, to confirm that one is vaccinated or that one has recovered from COVID.
The Green Passports allow Israelis access to restaurants, cafes, malls, hotels, gyms, swimming pools, museums, cultural events, and sporting events, reported i24 News.
One Israeli posted a picture on Facebook showing that certain lounge chairs for the beach were marked "RESERVED FOR VACCINATED PEOPLE ONLY."
Israel's Health Minister Yuli Edelstein said, "The Green Passport is our way of encouraging more and more people to get vaccinated and also true in its essence. Those who are vaccinated are not dangerous."
In the United States, according to The Post, the Biden administration is working with its health IT experts to see if a free app for smartphones, with a "scannable code similar to an airline boarding pass," can be implemented safely and reliably.
Some of the entities working with the administration on this initiative include the Mayo Clinic, Microsoft, Mitre, the CDC, and IBM.
“Many people see this as a key aspect to getting things closer to normal,” Kristen McGovern, former chief of staff at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, told The Post.