Sen. Rarick column: Vaccine passports undermine health care privacy
There is no reason that we should require folks to share their vaccine status.
Legislation was introduced in the Minnesota Senate that seeks to ban controversial vaccine passports.
This issue has surfaced in recent weeks due to a White House press briefing in which the press secretary alluded to the White House providing guidelines and standards for vaccine passports.
Many companies have already begun developing digital passports that use scannable codes to show that an individual has been vaccinated with one of the COVID-19 vaccines. The talk of implementing these passports in Minnesota began in February.
Medical decisions are private choices made between a patient and their doctor. There is no reason that we should require folks to share their vaccine status, and there is zero evidence that it will increase vaccine compliance.
We have never thought about this type of government overreach before, not with polio or the flu, nor any other disease. We have zero reasons to attack individual freedoms or liberty.
The proposed legislation prohibits employers or employment agencies from requiring employees to use any form of digital contact tracing, nor can a person’s choice to opt out of the contact tracing affect the terms or conditions of their employment.
While individuals may voluntarily elect to use applications for contact tracing and proof of vaccination, the commissioner of health and local health departments are prohibited from requiring participation. Language in the bill also prohibits state agencies or local units of government from requiring individuals to submit proof of immunization.
The Senate will continue to help Minnesota emerge from this pandemic and advance efforts that help Minnesotans and their families, but we will not support vaccine passports in this state.
Sen. Jason Rarick represents District 11 in the Minnesota Senate.