Could a COVID-19 vaccine passport soon make its way to D.C., Maryland and Virginia? After New York City announced they were getting ready to require proof of vaccination for all indoor activities, FOX 5 spoke with local leaders to get answers.
NYC's vaccine passport goes into effect this month and will require vaccine-eligible people to show a vaccination card to enter indoor restaurants, businesses and entertainment venues.
In Maryland, Governor Larry Hogan says his focus is on increasing vaccinations.
"Look, a lot of people are looking at a lot of things right now to control the spread. But there’s one thing that we know stops the spread and that is getting the vaccine," Gov. Hogan said. "It’s why we’re doing so much better than everybody in the country because people in Maryland did listen, and they did take the vaccines."
So far, leaders in D.C., Maryland and Virginia have not made a move to implement a vaccine passport program.
In May, DC Health launched DC MyIR, a web app that lets people access their official COVID-19 vaccination records. It's not a vaccine passport, but it is proof that an individual has been vaccinated.
A former U.S. Health and Human Services official tells FOX 5 he thinks governments should focus on raising vaccination rates and that passports could divide people even further.
FOX 5 spoke with DMV residents to see what they thought about a vaccine passport.
"I think some big-city mayors look at other big-city mayors. I think it’d be a huge mistake. I think they should really talk to experts first and talk to stakeholders like the restaurant community before making such a draconian decision," one resident remarked.
"I do think it’s a good idea because I want to live a long life and I want other people to live a long life," said another.
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam's office tells FOX 5 while the governor supports private businesses that require vaccination proof, they did not say Northam would endorse the idea for a statewide policy.
FOX 5 reached out to D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser's office for comment on vaccination passports but has not heard back.