NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Could the future of travel include a COVID-19 vaccine passport? It’s a question sparking debate in the Tennessee legislature.
“I think vaccine passports are a bad idea. I do not believe that government should impose vaccine requirements or mandates in any way,” said Governor Bill Lee earlier this week.
So far, New York is the only state to implement such a system. It’s a voluntary app proving a negative COVID-19 test result or vaccination that can be scanned before entering businesses.
“Really our focus now is what we have been for the past few months and that is to increase the vaccination rates so we’re all protected that way,” said Brian Todd with the Metro Health Department.
He doesn’t anticipate such a passport here in the near future. “Now of course if a private business wanted to do something along those lines, they feel like it's in their best interest to do, that’s something they can do but that’s not something we’re considering.”
But one bill in the state Senate would prevent local or state agencies from requiring or coercing a person to receive a COVID vaccine.
“There’s no prospect of a vaccine passport and I think all the legislation that outlaws those things is really kind of silly because there’s genuinely no chance it’s going to happen,” said Senator Jeff Yarbro who voted against the bill.
He said such a law could set the wrong precedence for future pandemics. “The real problem of this legislation is that it’s solving an imaginary problem, but in doing so it’s spreading tragic misinformation about how safe and effective this vaccine is.”
Still, Todd suggests you bring your COVID vaccine card as proof in case you need it and do research on your destination if you need to travel.