U.S. states already know who’s vaxxed
By Guy Page
The proliferation of faked ‘vaccine passports’ is prompting calls for a national, U.S. government I.D., which the Biden administration has resisted – so far.
All state governments know who has and hasn’t been vaccinated. States give the CDC the data but not the names.
These two facts of interest to the growing number of Vermonters facing workplace vaccination mandates appear in an August 20 article, “You’ve Been Vaccinated – Now Prove It,” published in Stateline, a Pew Trust news publication.
As of yesterday, at least three large Vermont employers: the federal government, the executive branch of Vermont state government, and the state’s largest employer, the University of Vermont Medical Center, all require proof of vaccination (or weekly testing) as a condition of employment. Virtually all instate colleges and universities also require vaccination to attend classes in person. Tuesday’s bombshell news that three Vermont State Troopers had resigned after allegations of creating fake vaccination cards raised questions about whether mandates create a demand for faked documents.
Stateline has been covering vaccine mandates and faked passports for several months. The Chronicle published an earlier news article, “Vaccine Passport Black Market Grows,” on July 9. The August 20 coverage includes the following:
Many businesses and government agencies requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccines accept the CDC cards or photos of those cards. But Neil Jay Sehgal, an assistant professor of health policy and management at the University of Maryland School of Public Health, said that those cards can easily be lost, damaged or counterfeited.
“They were never meant to be secure,” he said.
That vulnerability prompted Sehgal to write an op-ed in The Baltimore Sun earlier this month urging the creation of a national vaccination system that would give everyone access to their immunization records via download.
In April, White House officials said they would not pursue such a plan, citing public worries about the idea of a national ID card.
“The government is not now, nor will we be supporting a system that requires Americans to carry a credential,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said at the time. “There will be no federal vaccinations database and no federal mandate requiring everyone to obtain a single vaccination credential.”
States providing individual vaccination history data to the federal government wouldn’t be difficult from an organizational point of view, because they already have it, Stateline said:
The U.S. government already requires that all organizations that administer COVID-19 vaccines report to local public health authorities—which in turn report to state health departments—the details of shots given, including identities of recipients. The state departments aggregate that information and report it to the CDC without the identifying information. Because the states already have that data, it would be easy to make that available to a national database, Sehgal said.