Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the US president and the director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), on Monday cast doubt on the possibility of the federal government mandating coronavirus vaccination passports in the United States.
"I doubt that the federal government will be the main mover of a vaccine passport concept," Fauci said in a Politico Dispatch podcast. "They may be involved in making sure things are done fairly and equitably, but I doubt if the federal government is going to be the leading element of that."
Fauci suggested that some independent entities could refuse to deal with anyone who is not vaccinated.
"But it's not going to be mandated from the federal government," he said.
The concept of so-called vaccine passports was introduced as a possible measure that could help to life back to normal following the coronavirus pandemic, particularly for international travel and large gatherings.
In the EU, the idea was first vocally supported by Greece, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel later announcing that Germany would implement a vaccine passport system, expressing hope it could then include the entire bloc.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that London would test a vaccine passport system as a possible tool to speed the reintroduction of global travel and large-scale gatherings.
In the United States, however, thoughts on a vaccination passport system differ, with Republicans mostly opposing the concept. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis issued an executive order banning a vaccine passport system in the state.
Democrats largely support the initiative and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo made his state the first in America to roll out a vaccine passport system.
"As more New Yorkers get vaccinated each day and as key public health metrics continue to regularly reach their lowest rates in months, the first-in-the-nation Excelsior Pass heralds the next step in our thoughtful, science-based reopening," Cuomo said.