Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Tuesday issued an executive order that bans government-issued COVID passport in the state.
The executive order says that the “government should not require any Texan to show proof of vaccination”. Abbott added that Texas will continue vaccinating the population “without treading on Texans’ personal freedoms”.
Greg Abbott was criticized for lifting the mask mandate in Texas last month. He also allowed businesses and facilities to operate at 100% capacity. He cited that “Texas now has tools to protect Texans from the virus”. Unfortunately, the vaccinated population in Texas at that time wasn’t big enough to achieve herd immunity.
Currently, 14.67% of Texans 16 years old and older received their first dose of the COVID19 vaccine. On the other hand, 8.76% completed the recommended dosage of the vaccine. There are currently 2.4 million COVID19 cases in Texas.
Not The First
Abbott is not the first governor that banned vaccine passports in his state. Florida Governor Rick DeSantis also issued an executive order to ban COVID19 passports.
Now that millions are vaccinated every day, vaccine passports are becoming a big deal. This digital passport could hold the key to get people to travel again. Unfortunately, regional credentials can be confusing. Because of this, the airline industry requested the Biden administration for uniform guidance.
The Biden administration was also reportedly working with private companies and federal agencies to develop a vaccine passport system. It was also reported that the White House is finalizing the guidelines for such passport.
New York developed the first COVID19 passport in the US. Released on March 26, the Excelsior Pass App holds important info including vaccination status and PCR and antigen test results. This made use of IBM’s blockchain technology to promote transparency and privacy. Some of the perks of the Excelsior Pass will allow users to enter venues.
Other countries are also working towards having a COVID passport. Some are even working on a national database to allow vaccinated individuals to resume normal activities.