TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP/WFLA) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is forbidding local governments and businesses from requiring so-called “vaccine passports” to show proof that customers have been inoculated against the coronavirus.
“We are not supporting doing any vaccine passports in the state of Florida,” DeSantis said. “It’s completely unacceptable for either the government or the private sector to impose upon you the requirement that you show proof of vaccine to just simply be able to participate in normal society.”
The Republican governor says he will be issuing an executive order. He made the announcement on a day when eligibility for receiving COVID-19 vaccinations in Florida was lowered to age 40.
The White House meanwhile is ruling out the creation of a national “vaccine passport” for Americans to verify their immunization status, saying it is leaving it to the private sector to develop a system for people show they’ve been vaccinated. Some other countries are establishing national databases to allow vaccinated people to resume normal activities.
“We do know that there is a segment of the population that is concerned that the government will play too heavy-handed of a role in monitoring their vaccinations,” said White House COVID-19 adviser Andy Slavitt. He said officials are worried that “it would discourage people” from getting vaccinated if the federal government was involved.
The administration, instead, is developing guidelines for such passports, touching on privacy, accuracy and equity, but the White House has not said when those guidelines will be ready.
As of Monday afternoon, 5.6 million doses of the three coronavirus vaccines have been administered in Florida, according to health statistics provided by the Florida Department of Health.
The governor is also calling on the Republican-led Legislature to consider a measure addressing “vaccine passports” but did not give specifics.