Despite data centralization problems, US vaccine certificates gain traction

New York, April 7 2021: The vaccine passport initiative, developed in collaboration with IBM and led by Governor Andrew Cuomo, has so far only been officially implemented in New York state, but “holders” are keen to show off their QR code, and as the vaccine roll out gathers speed, the passports will gain popularity.

In spite of the difficulty in centralizing data thanks to the fragmented healthcare system in the state, the system is capable of immediately verifying whether the carrier has received the vaccine or has recently tested negative for the disease.

While Manhattan residents are enthusiastic about it, other state leaders have firmly rejected the idea. The governors of Florida and Texas, Ron DeSantis and Greg Abbott respectively, have issued executive orders prohibiting government-mandated vaccine passports in the states. The orders effectively bar businesses from requiring that customers show a certificate.

Explaining his opposition to the concept, DeSantis said, “People have certain freedoms and individual liberties to make decisions for themselves.” The Republican governor of South Dakota, Kristi Noem, tweeted saying vaccine passports as “one of the most un-American ideas in our nation’s history” on Twitter.

At present, President Joe Biden’s administration intends to stay out of the controversy. Jen Psaki, White House spokeswoman said there would be “no federal mandate requiring everyone to obtain a single vaccination credential.” She said Washington would instead issue guidance to ensure systems “are not used against people unfairly,” with regards to privacy and security concerns.

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