The European Union is planning to launch a Digital Pass System that will let citizens prove they have been vaccinated against COVID-19, recovered from the disease or recently tested negative for the virus, allowing them to travel freely among all 27 member nations.Israelis used an identical Digital Pass System, showing their vaccination status to enter restaurants, gyms and other venues. Australia has rolled out a digital proof of vaccination certificate, and Japan plans to issue one as soon as this summer.
The federal government is reluctant to take the politically charged step of developing or endorsing a universal digital health pass or app, several companies are trying to fill the void. Americans will need several digital passes, like so many credit cards in a wallet. It could also mean employers, businesses and venue operators will each have to decide which works for them.
The Biden administration has made clear that it won’t create or approve a Digital Pass System deferring to the private sector. Administration officials have cited concerns over privacy and security if the federal government took a role in the process.The U.S. does not have a federal database for immunization records that could act as the source of vaccination data for use in digital passes. A national system to create a unique identification number to link the health records of every American has been banned since 1998, led by then-Rep. Ron Paul said such a system would be an unwarranted privacy intrusion.