Tennessee Senate passes ban on government issued ‘vaccine passports’
The Tennessee Senate on Wednesday passed a ban on government-issued “vaccine passports” to show that someone has received a coronavirus vaccination.
The state Senate bill would ban vaccine passports and also take public health powers away from local county boards, according to WZTV in Nashville.
A similar bill is moving through Tennessee’s House and will have a hearing Wednesday in a Health Committee.
The Senate bill was passed by a 27-3 vote.
Two Republican state Sens. Janice Bowling and John Ragan sponsored the bill that was introduced in February.
If the bill were to pass the state House, it would move to the governor’s desk.
Gov. Bill Lee (R) has previously indicated that he did not support vaccine passport requirements.
I am supporting legislation to prohibit any government-mandated vaccine passports to protect the privacy of Tennesseans’ health information and ensure this vaccine remains a voluntary, personal decision.
— Gov. Bill Lee (@GovBillLee) April 6, 2021
Talks of possible vaccine passports have sparked pushback among conservatives who have raised concerns about potential government overreach and discrimination against Americans who decide not to get vaccinated.
The passage of the Tennessee bill comes as many Republican states have already banned vaccine passport requirements.
However, Democratic states such as New York and Hawaii are looking at implementing a vaccine passport program with Hawaii saying the program could come as early as this summer.
The federal government has previously said they will not make vaccine passports mandatory.