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March 29, 2021

NY debuts COVID-19 Passport to prove vaccination

By Sara Carter

New York residents were able to show proof of vaccination Friday by pulling up a code on their cell phone or a printout to prove to others that they’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19.

Is this still America? Where does all this lead? Similar platforms are being used or will be implemented around the world and there is concern that privacy rights and the rights of those who do not want to be vaccinated will be trampled on by the government.

Here’s an excerpt of what is happening in New York:

This is what the new vaccine passport offers its users as stated first-in-the-nation certification, called the Excelsior Pass, will be useful first at large-scale venues like Madison Square Garden, but next week will be accepted at dozens of event, arts and entertainment venues statewide. It already enables people to increase the size of a wedding party, or other catered event.

The app, championed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to support the recovery of industries most affected by the pandemic, is funded by the state and available for free to businesses and anyone with vaccination records or test results in New York. 

Like an airline boarding pass, people will be able to prove their health status with a digital QR code – or “quick response” machine-readable label. They’ll need to download the Excelsior Pass app, enter their name, date of birth, zip code and answer a series of personal questions to confirm their identity. The data will come from the state’s vaccine registry and also will be linked to testing data from a number of pre-approved testing companies.