United States: Controversy surrounds the idea of ​​a “vaccine passport”

Despite the growing vaccination campaign, the growing political controversy and a fragmented health system that complicates everything, the issue of the digital “vaccine passport” is becoming increasingly entrenched in the United States. Data centering.

17-year-old Asher Weintraub was delighted to show off the new Boss He downloaded a digital file from New York State to his smartphone, which, via a QR code, certifies that he is immune to COVID.

“I think it’s good, you don’t have to show all kinds of documents every time,” he said, posting his code at the entrance to one of the first indoor events in Manhattan since March 2020.

Inspired by its Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo, New York was the only US government to voluntarily introduce such a “passport” in collaboration with technology company IBM. Other governors, by contrast, reject this view.

Florida Republican Gov. Ron Desantis signed an executive order Friday that barred the state administration from releasing “any standardized document” to certify that a person has been vaccinated against COVID, and that businesses must provide their clients with immunizations that would reduce the liberty and privacy of immunity. Subject ”.

South Dakota’s Republican Gov. Christie Noyem ruled last week that she was “anti-American.”

No federal mandate

The Biden government, which has faced this controversy, wants to stay ahead in this field. Again on Tuesday, White House spokeswoman Jen Zhaki assured that “not everyone has a federal obligation to obtain the same vaccine certificate.” Washington will satisfy itself in releasing recommendations to ensure that the systems developed are “reasonable” and guarantee confidentiality and data security.

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However, in a world where smartphones have become an essential tool of everyday life, even without federal inspiration, some Americans doubt that these digital certification mechanisms will emerge. Many follow eagerly Green Boss The vaccine campaign was adopted in Israel as a model of momentum.

So some NGO projects are progressing. Except Boss New Yorker, project Common bass, With global ambitions, seems to be much more advanced.

Launched by Commons, a non-profit organization specializing in the interconnection of digital health data Boss It is already used on a daily basis by a dozen international airlines, said its director Paul Meyer.

Unlike the system designed for the state of New York, this site is based on free, commercial software. “Neutral” and “safe” in terms of data protection, according to him it is “growing as a standard” of a sector, which promises to be in full expansion, the pressure to update the vaccine and economic activities.

Negotiations are underway with the EU – this one Green bass This will allow free travel in the Schengen area – and separately, with several European governments, he said, without mentioning anything.

He says establishing such a digital passport is “simpler” than in the United States: while public health systems in European countries in general already center on health data, while in the United States, the health system is basically private and each state has its own health services, all “fragmented.”


If American politics is polarized it can slow its growth Common bass, He admits, he believes the “freedom is back” argument – freedom to travel, go to a baseball game or go to the theater – Boss To be positive, to prevail.

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Marcus Plessia, medical manager for the OSTO Association, which brings together health officials from across the U.S., believes that “most people feel that the vaccine passport is useful in at least some situations” and that “restrictions will vary depending on who you are.” Whether vaccinated or not ”.

For now, the debate is still “a little premature,” with only about 20 million Americans already fully immunized, he said. But with some private employers, he should not be surprised that anti-Govt vaccination certification will soon be required in schools.

“I think some reluctance goes away when people realize everything they can do after being vaccinated,” he says.

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