Story at a glance

  • The idea of requiring Americans to provide proof they’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19 to gain access to businesses and other venues has become controversial.
  • Fauci said he does believe some businesses will require customers to show proof of vaccination, but vaccine passports won’t be mandated by the federal government.
  • On Monday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the federal government expects the development and determination of vaccine passports to be driven by the private sector.

The nation’s top infectious diseases expert says he believes the federal government will not be requiring so-called vaccine passports for travel and businesses although some individual entities may put in place such a mandate. 

The idea of requiring Americans to provide proof they’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19 to gain access to businesses and other venues has become controversial. 


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While New York became the first state to launch a voluntary app that allows people to upload proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test results that can be scanned before entering a business, governors in Florida and Texas have taken executive action to ban passports in their states. 

Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, addressed the concept Monday during an interview with the Politico Dispatch podcast. 

“I doubt that the federal government will be the main mover of a vaccine passport concept. They may be involved in making sure things are done fairly and equitably, but I doubt if the federal government is going to be the leading element of that,” Fauci said. 

Fauci said he does believe some businesses will require customers to show proof of vaccination before entering a space occupied by other customers and employees. 

“There may be theaters that say ‘you don’t get in unless you have proof of vaccination.’ There may be colleges or other educational institutions that do that. I’m not saying they should or that they would, but I’m saying you could foresee how an independent entity might say ‘well, we can’t be dealing with you unless we know you’re vaccinated,’” he said. 

On Monday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the federal government expects the development and determination of vaccine passports to be driven by the private sector, but the government will provide guidance on the concept.


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Published on Apr 06, 2021