Vaccine Central

White House won’t back system to track COVID vaccination credentials

A U.S. Department of Health and Human Services employee holds a COVID-19 vaccine record card on Nov. 13, 2020, in Washington D.C. (Photo Provided/Department of Defense/EJ Hersom)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is stressing that it won’t back any system “that requires Americans to carry a credential” to show they’ve been vaccinated.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki says “there will be no federal vaccinations database and no federal mandate requiring everyone to obtain a single vaccination credential.”

She says companies or nonprofit groups might offer that kind of “tool” but the White House wants to be sure that “American’s privacy and rights” are protected. Psaki says the Biden administration will be issuing guidance around the matter soon.

So-called vaccine passports currently exist in only one state — a limited government partnership in New York with a private company. But that hasn’t stopped GOP lawmakers in a handful of states from rushing out legislative proposals to ban their use, calling them an infringement on personal freedom and private health choices.

Also on Tuesday, the White House said more than 28 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines will be delivered to states this week. White House coronavirus coordinator Jeff Zients made the announcement during a weekly conference call with the nation’s governors.

The allocation brings the total amount of vaccine distributed over the past three weeks to more than 90 million doses.

Vice President Kamala Harris joined the call from Chicago, where she is traveling Tuesday to promote equity in the distribution of the three approved COVID-19 vaccines.

Harris discussed the administration’s response. She also highlighted President Joe Biden’s upcoming announcement that 150 million shots in arms have been administered since he took office. All adults will be eligible to receive a vaccine by April 19.

MORE STORIES