Arizona governor issues executive order to ban ‘vaccine passports’

ARIZONA, USA — Governor Doug Ducey signed an executive order banning vaccine passports, preventing local state governments from requiring vaccine information from Arizonans for them to get a service or enter an area.

The order signed on Monday states that agencies, counties, cities and towns can’t ask individuals to provide documentation of their COVID-19 vaccines in order to enter a building, area or to receive any services from the government.

The order has no real policy implication and since the three COVID-19 vaccines currently being administered were issued under “emergency use” and haven’t been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the measure can’t be enforceable, said Will Humble from the Arizona Public Health Association.

Even if required, Humble says COVID-19 vaccines have a long way to go.

“For the state department to add a new vaccine to [the] list [it] requires about a two-year process,” Humble said. “We’re going to have a new governor by then, so I don’t see this as having an impact in that regard. I see it as an executive order with no impact at all.”

There have been no legislative calls for “vaccine passports” in Arizona or from the White House– which said the government is not supporting a system that requires such credentials, Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters two weeks ago.

“There will be no federal vaccinations database and no federal mandate requiring everyone to obtain a single vaccination credential,” Psaki said.

The order does not specify how it would be mandated but would remain in effect until the public health emergency is lifted.

“It looks to me like it was an effort to establish a brand around the governor’s opposition to this kind of documentation to be used for any kind of administrative purpose,” Humble added.

State law currently allows schools, childcare centers, and universities to collect vaccination documentation and under the order, they can continue to do so. Also, long-term care and health care institutions can ask for documentation.

The state has administered 4,495,519 vaccine doses to 2,736,235 individuals and 1,926,181 Arizonans are fully vaccinated against the COVID-19 until Sunday.

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