Gov. DeSantis says no to vaccine passports for Floridians

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Published: Mar. 18, 2021 at 3:53 PM EDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WCJB) - Vaccine passports will not be required in the state of Florida, that’s according to Governor Ron DeSantis in a press conference Thursday.

“I just want to make very clear in Florida, we are not doing any vaccine passports,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said during his news conference on Thursday afternoon. “I think it’s a bad idea. And so that will not happen. And so folks should get vaccinated if they want to obviously provide that. But under no circumstances will the state be asking you to show proof of vaccination

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“And I don’t think private companies should be doing that either,” added DeSantis. “So we’re going to look into see what we need to do to be able to make sure we’re protecting Floridians. But I do think it would be a big problem to start going down the road of vaccine passports.”

A ‘vaccine passport’ is a document, digital or paper, that would show if someone has received the COVID-19 vaccine. The idea would be that having a vaccine passport would allow individuals to travel or attend certain events.

DeSantis says he does not agree with some restrictions being tossed around in other states.

“You have some of these states saying to go to a sporting event, you have to show either a negative test or a vaccine proof. I think you just got to make decisions. If you want to go to an event go to an event if you don’t don’t, but to be requiring people to provide all this proof,” said DeSantis. “That’s not how you get society back to normal. So we’re rejecting any vaccine passports here in the state of Florida.”

DeSantis had the same message during his public health roundtable earlier in the day in Tallahassee, where he questioned experts about the pandemic, vaccines and the vaccine passport.

“They are actually damaging the trust in public health, leading to fewer vaccinations,” said Dr. Martin Kulldorff, who is a Professor at Harvard Medical School.

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“If we want as many people as possible to get vaccines — and that’s what I want, I want a lot of people to have the vaccine… — by mandating vaccines or by having vaccine passports, you’re increasing the skepticism of vaccinations. That’s detrimental to public health,” Kulldorff said.

“People don’t have to worry about it here in the State of Florida. And if folks try to start doing it privately, we may have a role to play there as well because I do think it’s unacceptable,” said DeSantis.

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