Gov. Ron DeSantis: State Won't Be ‘Doing Any Vaccine Passports'

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During a public health roundtable Thursday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said the state will not be "doing any vaccine passports," calling the existence of such documents "unacceptable."

A vaccine passport is documentation that shows a traveler has been vaccinated against COVID-19 or recently tested negative for the virus that causes it. Advocates are hoping the existence of such passports will help passengers feel safer when booking flights.

The information is typically stored on a phone or other mobile device that the user shows to airline employees and border officers. Travel industry groups and labor unions are urging the Biden administration to consider the digital passes, along with paper alternatives.

Some countries are using the passports beyond air travel. Israel is using a new “green passport” to ensure that only people who have been vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19 can attend public events such as concerts. Denmark expects to launch a pass that will let vaccinated people travel with fewer restrictions.

Despite the push for COVID-19 vaccine passports, there are risks and concerns associated with them. The World Health Organization recently issued a statement reading in part:

"At the present time, do not introduce requirements of proof of vaccination or immunity for international travel as a condition of entry as there are still critical unknowns regarding the efficacy of vaccination in reducing transmission and limited availability of vaccines."

Cybersecurity experts also have concerns about hacking and issues with people's medical and personal information.

At a public health roundtable discussion in Tallahassee Thursday, Gov. DeSantis and other health experts quickly denounced vaccine passports.

"I think from Florida's perspective, we're not doing any vaccine passports. I mean, that's totally unacceptable," he said. "So people don't have to worry about it here in the state of Florida. And if folks try to start doing it privately, you know, we may we may have have a role to play there as well, because I do think it's unacceptable."

The Biden administration says it is up to the private sector and nonprofits to figure out how Americans can demonstrate that they have been vaccinated or tested.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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