WASHINGTON (WNCN) — Several unnamed White House officials told The Washington Post that the Biden Administration is looking into the possibility of a national “vaccine passport” which would prove that a person has been vaccinated against the coronavirus.
According to the Post, the passports are expected to be free and available through applications for smartphones, which could display a scannable code similar to an airline boarding pass.
Americans without smartphone access should be able to print out the passports, developers have said.
Other countries are racing ahead with their own passport plans, with the European Union planning to release digital certificates that would allow for summer travel, according to the Post.
Such an effort has been gaining traction in circles close to President Biden as he attempts to help return the country to “normal”. The president has since ramped up vaccine efforts, and recently set a new goal to administer 200 million vaccine shots in his first 100 days in office.
“I know it’s ambitious, twice our original goal, but no other country in the world has even come close,” said Biden at his first formal news conference on March 25.
The passports could come in handy when it comes to traveling domestically and abroad as many countries, including the United States and venues have begun requiring proof of a negative COVID-19 test before setting foot on the soil.
A vaccine passport could eliminate the need to continually get COVID-19 tested every time someone wants to travel via plane or enjoy entertainment.
Several cruise lines, including popular line Royal Caribbean, have started requiring proof of vaccination for certain trips. Sports teams such as the New York Yankees and Mets say that proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test would be required for fans to attend.
At least 17 groups and government agencies have begun working on vaccine passport initiatives, the Post reported, which could make it more difficult for the government to streamline the process.
New York State announced the launch of Excelsior Pass, which it promotes as a “free, fast and secure way to present digital proof of COVID-19 vaccination or negative test results” using smartphones or printed passes. Officials believe it is the first state to launch this technology.
Venues and other businesses will be able to scan your “pass” to ensure you meet any COVID-19 vaccination or testing requirements for entry, according to the press release.
You’ll also need a photo ID that shows your name and birth date to verify that the pass belongs to you.