As Governor Ron DeSantis recently 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 participate in normal society.”
Nothing smacks more of an unconstitutional ban on assembly than the idea that you’d need to show your vaccination papers to go to a ball game, or the theater, or to your child’s dance recital, or even a restaurant.
As if the idea of vaccine passports wasn’t bad enough in its infringement on your freedom, there’s no good way to even implement such a passport system. As Julie Wernau explains in the Wall Street Journal, there isn’t a centralized vaccine database, and the cards handed out upon completion of a vaccine will be destroyed in the first load of wash they go through. She writes:
Millions of adults vaccinated against Covid-19 have little to prove it beyond a paper card they received at inoculation sites.
The U.S. has no central database for immunizations. States maintain an incomplete patchwork of records. Nor is there standard proof of Covid-19 vaccinations like the yellow-fever cards that are required for travel to many countries where that disease remains prevalent.
With some countries and businesses preparing to make digital proof of vaccination a requirement for entry and travel, the paper cards may be the only ticket to access those platforms. Proof is already being requested on some first dates and at weddings.
“I’m glad we prioritized getting shots in arms,” said Ami Parekh, chief medical officer at digital healthcare company Grand Rounds Inc., which acts as a kind of medical concierge for patients. “But putting in rules about being vaccinated without giving people a way to properly track it is a little bit backwards.”
The cards themselves are a patchwork of formats. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has designed a version, which many locations use, but it isn’t required. State and local authorities and even individual sites are devising their own cards to hand out. With no official standard, it may be hard to say what constitutes proof.
Fake U.S. vaccination certificates are already selling for $200 a pop, according to Check Point Software Technologies, a Tel Aviv-based cybersecurity company that monitors less-accessible parts of the internet where everything from cyber weapons to drugs are sold. Users simply send their details and money, the company said, and the seller emails back fake documents.
“We’re setting ourselves up for a big problem down the road,” said Ekram Ahmed, a Check Point spokesman.
Andy Slavitt, President Biden’s senior adviser on Covid-19, acknowledged Monday that people would want documentation to show they had received the Covid-19 vaccine. But he deferred to the private sector on establishing credentials, citing concerns over privacy and security if the process was overseen by the federal government.
“There will be no centralized universal federal vaccinations database and no federal mandate requiring everyone to obtain a single vaccination credential,” White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Monday. “We’ll leverage our resources to ensure that all vaccination-credential systems meet key standards—whether that’s universal accessibility, affordability [or] availability, both digitally and on paper.”
You can already easily get fake “proof of vaccine” credentials on the Dark Web.
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