Orange County seeing heated debate over vaccination

Orange County officials are trying to debunk claims that a new vaccine app - or even the vaccine itself - would invade residents' privacy or secretly track them.

Video Transcript

- Orange County lawmaker is firing back at people on Twitter after addressing vaccine myths during a county board meeting.

- What he said last night has captured the attention of social media. "Eyewitness News" reporter Carlos Granda is live with more on what took place. Interesting conversation, Carlos.

CARLOS GRANDA: Absolutely. And this is a question that people are facing all over the country, providing proof that you received a COVID-19 vaccine. But some are concerned that it could violate people's privacy or somehow track them.

Well, that's what's happening in Orange County. Like other counties, it gives out the CDC cards at vaccination sites that show which type of vaccine was given and when each dose was received. Now, at a board of supervisors meeting, many residents said they don't like a new app the county is studying that would show whether a person is fully vaccinated. They say that app is simply a vaccine passport.

Now supervisors are facing pushback from outraged residents who don't believe in masking and worry about the vaccine's long-term effects. One supervisor tried to address the issue by asking the county health officer about possible tracking.

DONALD P. WAGNER: In the vaccine, we heard about an injection of a tracking device. Is-- is-- is that being done anywhere?


DONALD P. WAGNER: In Orange County?

- I'm sorry. I just have to compose myself. There is not a vaccine with a tracking device embedded in it, that I know of, exists in the world. Period.

- Now Supervisor Wagner says he asked the vaccine chip question to show the absurdity of the conspiracy theory outrage. He later sent out a tweet saying, "funny, I'm working through the conspiracy theories we heard about at the meeting, debunking them with Dr. Chau, and these folks try to spin it as serious concerns. What dishonest hacks."

Now some residents are urging supervisors to cancel the county's contract with a company that developed the software. They say any requirement that would force anyone to show proof of vaccination would infringe on their rights.