‘Not A Simple Solution’: Controversial Vaccine Passports In Development

Some say the key to international travel and getting back to normal could be a vaccine credential or passport to prove COVID-19 immunity. WBZ-TV's Cheryl Fiandaca reports.

Video Transcript

- Florida's governor signed an executive order banning any of his government agencies from issuing so-called vaccine passports. They don't really exist yet, but they're in the works, and they're controversial. Chief investigator Cheryl Fiandaca looks at the reasons why.

CHERYL FIANDACA: Some say it's the key to international travel and getting back to normal, a vaccine credential or passport to prove COVID-19 immunity.

- If it allows us to go places again and be a little bit safer about things and be comfortable with it, I'm good with it.

- In general, it's a good idea.

CHERYL FIANDACA: With the vaccine becoming more available and many states requiring a negative COVID test or quarantine for visitors, private companies and coalitions are developing programs to verify health records. The idea is to create a digital credential, a card or paper, that would be used to show a person's vaccination status.

GEORGE ANNAS: The big problem is gonna be equity-- equal access to these passports for everyone.

CHERYL FIANDACA: The government says vaccination credentials would not be mandatory. It is working to ensure any passport program would be free, private, and safe from forgery. But some people say they don't want the vaccine at all.

- I don't think we should have to prove it, and I don't think it's a good idea.

CHERYL FIANDACA: And showing proof of vaccine may soon be required for travel to Europe and abroad. Here in the US, the issue is becoming political, with some leaders vowing to prevent credentials from being used to get into restaurants or events.

RON DESANTIS: We're not gonna support any idea of a vaccine passport in Florida.

GEORGE ANNAS: It's not a simple solution. It's a complicated problem. This will solve part of it, which is international travel on airplanes, but that's about the only part. And even there, we don't know if it's good enough for you not to spread the disease.

CHERYL FIANDACA: With the vaccine not yet available to everyone, it will likely be several more months before a program like this would be available. Cheryl Fiandaca, WBZ News.

- All right, Cheryl, thank you.