With the Excelsior Pass, New York on Friday became the first state to launch a so-called vaccine passport, USA Today reported. Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo also promoted the launch Friday on Twitter.
Today we launch Excelsior Pass, a free platform for businesses and individuals that can be used to easily access secure evidence of a recent negative COVID test or vaccination.
It is the first tool of its kind to help NY fight COVID while safely reopening our economy.
– Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) March 26, 2021
Using the app downloaded with personal information to confirm their identity, New Yorkers can prove with a digital QR code that they have been vaccinated. “The data will come from the state’s immunization registry and will also be linked to test data from a number of previously approved testing companies,” according to USA Today. The passport will be useful for entering events and venues, and “already allows people to increase the size of a wedding party or other catered event.”
Naturally, privacy and data concerns abound, and Bloomberg has already written at least two articles that raise issues.
Also, if one reads the overview of the state website, this particular excerpt comes to mind: “Once you and your group enter a facility, you will be asked to follow the state and CDC guidelines with regarding social distancing, face covering and hand hygiene. “
Will those who have been vaccinated no longer be expected to wear a mask? Will President Joe Biden and Dr. Anthony Fauci still insist on wearing two? What will even change?
Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) already rejected the idea of a vaccine passport last week. “The vaccine passport is a terrible idea. We are definitely not going to offer anything from the state’s perspective. That is totally off the table,” reported Southwest Florida Fox 4 News.