Missouri moves one step closer to banning COVID vaccine passports

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.– The Missouri Senate took steps yesterday to ban COVID-19 vaccination passports in the state. It comes as more discussion arises about vaccine passports and documentation across the county.

Thursday, Gov. Mike Parson said he won’t require what are known as vaccine passports in Missouri. But Parson told reporters Thursday that he’s OK with private companies adopting them. 

The amendment was passed during discussion of Senate Bill 46, a transportation bill. It is now on the calendar for a third reading and could be voted in front of the full Senate as early as next week.

“No entity in this state shall require documentation of an individual having received a vaccination against any disease in order for the individual to access transportation systems or services…”

Senate Amendment to SB 46

The amendment says those transportation systems include buses, air travel, rail travel, taxicab or limousine services, prearranged rides, other public transportation, or any public transportation facilities, including but not limited to bus and airport facilities.

Last week, New York became the first state to launch a passport for entering center venues. Hawaii is working toward a vaccine passport for travelers to show coming in and out of the state.

The White House is ruling out the creation of a national “vaccine passport” for Americans to verify their immunization status, saying it is leaving it to the private sector to develop a system for people to show they’ve been vaccinated. Some other countries are establishing national databases to allow vaccinated people to resume normal activities.

The administration, instead, is developing guidelines for such passports, touching on privacy, accuracy and equity, but the White House has not said when those guidelines will be ready.

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