TAMPA (WFLA) – For months, the governor has made it clear there would not be a coronavirus vaccine mandate as he leaves it up to Floridians to decide if they want to get vaccinated.
“I just want to make very clear in Florida, we are not doing any vaccine passports,” DeSantis said Thursday.
For months, the governor has made it clear there would not be a coronavirus vaccine mandate as he leaves it up to Floridians to decide if they want to get vaccinated.
“You have some of these states saying to go to a sporting event, you have to show either a negative test or a vaccine proof,” DeSantis said in Panama City. “I think you just got to make decisions. If you want to go to an event, go to an event. If you don’t, don’t. But to be requiring people to provide all this proof, that’s not how you get society back to normal.”
Dr. Jay Wolfson from the USF Morsani College of Medicine said the concept of a so-called COVID-19 vaccine passport is already being tested internationally.
“There’s a really cool product I’ve been looking at the for the International Air Transport Association, it comes on your iPhone,” he said. “The Israelis are using a green card that’s digitized.
Dr. Wolfson said he believes one industry hit hard by the pandemic could take the lead and stand to benefit the most from vaccine passports.
“In order to get the airline industry back up in the air, give people confidence that they’re gonna be safe and comfortable you’re gonna have something like that,” he said.
Other doctors and epidemiologists are raising concerns that a digital vaccine passport would do more harm than good, especially in minority and poorer populations where there’s a greater vaccine hesitancy and less availability.
“I don’t foresee the state of Florida or any state mandating it for access to venues,” Dr. Wolfson said.
President Biden said he expects the nation to reach his goal of getting 100 million shots in arms on Friday, well before his 100th day in office.
Airlines have been hopeful widespread vaccination would give a boost to business and last weekend the TSA screened its highest number of airport passengers since March 2020.
As of Thursday night, nearly 7 million shots have been administered and 2.5 million Floridians are fully vaccinated, according to the Florida Department of Health.
According to the CDC COVID-19 vaccine tracker, more than 10.2 million doses have been delivered to the state.
Gov. DeSantis said soon he expects to lower the age eligibility to include anyone over 55-years-old.