In order to coerce citizens to get vaccinated, Chicago’s Public Health Commissioner, Dr. Allison Arwady, will be pushing a new vaccine passport program that will be required for admission into certain events.
The city of Chicago wants businesses to offer savings incentives to those who are fully vaccinated as part of their “Vax and Relax” program. In order to take advantage of the savings or even get into many places, patrons will have to show their “Vax Pass.”
Dr. Arwady says that the city is not “requiring” anyone to get vaccinated but said that those who are not vaccinated may be refused entry into events as determined by the city’s Public Health Commission.
The initiative is specially targeting younger Chicagoans who the Public Health Commission says many have expressed willingness to get vaccinated but claim it is “not the first on the list of things to do” so the city is seeking “creative ways” to encourage them to get the jab.
Vaccine passports have received lots of backlash with 8 states either banning them or pledging to ban them. Florida and Texas are the largest states to ban the use of vaccine passports while many smaller states like Idaho and Nebraska have followed suit.
While places like New York have their own vaccine passport program called the “Excelsior Pass”, other states Governors such as Nebraska’s Pete Ricketts said that the state will not participate in vaccine passports because vaccine passports are a violation of “two central tenets of the American system: freedom of movement and healthcare privacy.”
Vaccine Passports Required for Americans Visiting Europe This Summer
Americans will need a vaccine passport if they wish to travel to Europe this summer.
European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen told the New York Times that American tourists will have to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to visit the region for nonessential travel.
“All 27 member states will accept, unconditionally, all those who are vaccinated with vaccines that are approved by E.M.A. (European Medicines Agency),” von der Leyen told the Times.
U.S. and European officials have reportedly been in discussions on how to implement a vaccine certificate for international travel.
The Daily Caller reports:
All three vaccines currently being used in the United States, from Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson, have been approved by the EMA. European regulators have also authorized use of AstraZeneca’s vaccine, which is awaiting approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (RELATED: CDC Lifts Pause On Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine With Warning Label Added)
Details on how exactly travelers will prove their vaccination status are still being worked out. A low-tech option may suffice in the short term until an official and internationally-recognized vaccine certificate is developed, according to The Times.
While the Biden Administration said the U.S. will not implement federal government-issued vaccine passports, New York launched the “Excelsior Pass” app to track people’s health status.
The app, according to New York state “provides secure, digital proof of COVID-19 vaccination or negative test results.”
Recently, a New York state official announced that all fans and staff at the Buffalo Bills’ NFL stadium must be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to enter the facility. The same policy also extends to Buffalo Sabres fans.
NY State Official Announces Vaccine Passports Required to Attend Buffalo Bills Games
Erie County, NY Executive Mark Poloncarz announced yesterday that all fans and staff at the Buffalo Bills’ NFL stadium must be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to enter the facility. The same policy also extends to Buffalo Sabres fans.
On Twitter, Poloncarz wrote, “Erie County is in support of returning fans to the stadium and arena, this upcoming fall. The best way to do this is to ensure all fans are vaccinated!”
The tweet included a graphic which stated the county “supports returning all fans to stadium and arena for fall.” It says the way to achieve this is to “require all fans and staff to be fully vaccinated.”
“No vaccine=no entry,” the graphic stated.
3,298 new cases in the last 7 days.
Giving Erie county a rate of 359 total new cases per 100,000 residents in the past 7 days. Making a Erie County a "High-risk" for transmission zone. pic.twitter.com/rxktvw03sZ
— Mark Poloncarz (@markpoloncarz) April 13, 2021
Poloncarz encouraged fans to apply to receive their passports. “
“You can apply now to receive your ‘Excelsior Pass,’ he wrote on Twitter. “There is a app you can download right on your cell phone. This app will show your shot records, and that you have been full vaccinated.”
In a media briefing, Poloncarz said religious and medical exemptions for the vaccine will not be accommodated.
“Some people are like, ‘Well that’s unfair,’ but there’s no God-given right to attend a football game,” he said.
The news of the mandatory vaccination requirement came on the same day the CDC and FDA recommended a “pause” on the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine following blood clot complications.