17:09 GMT11 April 2021
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    Private US companies are working to develop “vaccine passports,” or a way for individuals to prove that they have been vaccinated against the novel coronavirus after the US President Joe Biden administration declared it would not issue a federal mandate that requires Americans to obtain such credentials.

    In a briefing this week, the World Health Organization (WHO) revealed that it doesn’t approve of the practice of requiring vaccine passports for the time being.

    “We as WHO are saying at this stage we would not like to see the vaccination passport as a requirement for entry or exit because we are not certain at this stage that the vaccine prevents transmission,” WHO spokesperson Margaret Harris said on Tuesday, as the New York Post reported. “There are all those other questions, apart from the question of discrimination against the people who are not able to have the vaccine for one reason or another”.

    The latest comments by the WHO come after Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, revealed on Monday that the US federal government may provide guidance to private companies developing vaccine passports to ensure that “things are done fairly and equitably.”

    “But I doubt if the federal government is gonna be the leading element of that,” Fauci also noted on the “Politico Dispatch” podcast.

    In addition, White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Tuesday confirmed that the Biden administration will not be involved in the development of a "vaccine passport" system.

    "The government is not now, nor will we be supporting a system that requires Americans to carry a credential. There will be no federal vaccinations database and no federal mandate requiring everyone to obtain a single vaccination credential," Psaki told reporters at a briefing, The Hill reported.

    Florida Governor Ron DeSantis issued an executive order banning the use of vaccine passports last week.

    “Today I issued an executive order prohibiting the use of so-called COVID-19 vaccine passports,” DeSantis said in a statement on Twitter. “The Legislature is working on making permanent these protections for Floridians and I look forward to signing them into law soon.”

    Several Republican lawmakers, including DeSantis, have expressed concern over vaccine passports, arguing that COVID-19 vaccinations are not required by law and that vaccination records are private health information. Such lawmakers, which include US Representatives Lauren Boebert (R- CO) and Pete Sessions (R- TX), have also insinuated or directly stated that such passports would be a government overstep and would lead to two classes of citizens.

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    US, vaccines, World Health Organization
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