‘No easy answers’: Vaccine passport debate continues

Local News

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — As the county begins to slowly reopen from the pandemic, the debate turns to whether vaccine passports are needed to allow people to freely travel, shop or dine.

Some people argue it would allow the country to defeat COVID-19, while others believe it would be a government overreach.

A few states across the country have already taken action on COVID-19 vaccine passports, but a California congressman wants to ban it.

“It’s definitely a slippery slope,” said Alex Vang.

Vang is an educator and has received both of his COVID-19 vaccine shots, and in the short term, he isn’t on board with the vaccine passport.

“The way the roll out of the vaccine. There’s a huge demographic of people who are just unable  to get and that means for awhile they can not get anything,” Vang said.

But in the long term, Vang agrees it could be useful from a safety stand point.

On the other hand, Joseph Roloff is concerned about individual rights.  

“Now that we have to disclose that we have been vaccinated or not, I think that is against my privacy. I should be able to disclose it, if I choose to,” Roloff said.

To share or not to share is the current debate.

Vaccine passports are virtual, typically an app with a code that verifies whether someone has been vaccinated or recently tested negative for COVID-19.

Those in favor believe it will allow businesses to reopen safely but some lawmakers like California Congressman Doug Lamalfa, who represents several Northern California counties, said he will introduce two bills that prohibit the use of COVID-19 vaccine passports.

“This country was founded to protect individual freedoms, and my legislation will ensure that Americans do not have their health decisions forced upon them by the federal government or private companies. We cannot allow the fear and uncertainty of 2020 to justify authoritarianism and increased government control,” Lamalfa said.

Vang says people should thoroughly research.

“It’s a very, very tough conversation to have. There are no easy answers and no easy way to approach either,” Vang said.  “I highly encourage everyone to look into it. Just looking into doesn’t mean you are committed to getting it, but I think being knowledgeable about is going to help you approach conservations with solid evidence.” 

The state released new guidelines Friday for indoor concerts, theater performances and other private gatherings allowing for a greater capacity if all guests are tested or show proof of being fully vaccinated.

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