Senate committee advances bill banning any requirement for vaccine passports

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The Senate Health and Human Services Committee advanced a bill that would ban the state, as well as local governmental entities and school districts from requiring vaccine passports.

According to Senator Michele Brooks (R-50), the committee’s chair, the legislation that was sponsored by she, Senators Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-28) and Judy War (R-30), is in direct response to other states implementing and developing vaccine passports.

“We wanted those who want to receive the vaccine to have every opportunity to do so. We have seen shifting guidance from day one and while the administration shares our sentiment in not requiring vaccine passports, this legislation will give every Pennsylvanian the reassurance that their state government will not overstep its bounds,” Phillips-Hill said.

New York paid IBM $2.5 million to create their state-issued vaccine passports known as the Excelsior Pass. Other states are requiring proof of vaccination to attend gatherings.

“In light of the state’s failure to safeguard critical healthcare information through its third-party vendor tasked with contact tracing, the legislation will ensure the state cannot create new programs that could capture personal health care information,” Phillips-Hill said.

The legislation moves to the full Senate for its consideration.

“There are many reasons why someone may choose not to get vaccinated,” Brooks said. “For the government to use vaccination status as a method of denying access to people, places and opportunities infringe upon the rights and freedoms we are blessed to have as Americans.”

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