Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) issued an executive order on Monday banning the use of "vaccination cards".
The Conservative governor of Texas joins the Republican governor of Florida Ron DeSantis, who had previously issued a similar order.
Abbott argued that the use of "vaccination cards" would be an unacceptable violation of Texans' rights.
Texans shouldn't be required to provide proof of vaccination or reveal private health information just to get on with their day-to-day lives.
I have an executive order banning government-required vaccination cards in Texas.
Do not step on our personal freedoms. pic.twitter.com/weTbz4FKyH
– Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) April 6, 2021
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Abbott joins Florida Governor DeSantis
In a statement released Tuesday, Abbott said:
“Texans are returning to normal life every day as more and more people receive the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine. But like I said, these vaccines are always voluntary and never enforced. The government should not require a Texan to provide proof of vaccination and private health information just to help them conduct their daily life.
Because of this, I made an executive order banning government-required vaccination certificates in Texas. We will continue to vaccinate more Texans and protect public health – without compromising Texans' personal freedoms. "
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Governor Abbott is the youngest Republican governor to ban the use of vaccination records.
Last week Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) issued an ordinance banning the use of COVID-19 documentation.
The Executive Order signed by DeSantis states in part: "Individual COVID-19 vaccination protocols are private health information and should not be passed on by a mandate."
During a press conference on Monday, DeSantis said, "It is not entirely unacceptable for either the government or the private sector to require you to provide evidence of vaccine in order to simply participate in ordinary society."
Abbott came under fire in early March for enacting an executive order removing the mask mandate and allowing all stores to open at full capacity on March 10th.
Today I issued an implementing regulation that forbids the use of so-called COVID-19 vaccination cards. Legislators are working to make this protection permanent for Floridians and I look forward to putting them into law soon. Read my EO here – https://t.co/6QwLsLWEWm
– Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) April 2, 2021
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More and more Republican governors are saying no to vaccination certificates
In addition to Governor Abbott and Governor DeSantis, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee has said he supports legislation banning vaccination records.
"I support government-mandated vaccination passport legislation to protect the privacy of Tennesseans health information and ensure this vaccine remains a voluntary, personal choice," Lee said.
I refuse vaccination certificates. The COVID-19 vaccine should be a personal health choice, not a government requirement.
– Governor Bill Lee (@GovBillLee) April 6, 2021
Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves has also spoken out against vaccination cards, saying, "I don't support vaccination cards. I don't think it's necessary and I don't think it's a good thing to do in America."
Missouri Governor Mike Parson has also been adamant about vaccination passport refusals. "I do NOT endorse any vaccination record and have no intention of introducing one in the state of Missouri."
I do NOT endorse any vaccination record and have no intention of introducing one in the state of Missouri.
– Governor Mike Parson (@GovParsonMO) April 5, 2021
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Will vaccination certificates be issued?
In a report from The Hill, Dr. Anthony Fauci on Monday that the federal government will not require documentation of COVID-19 vaccinations.
He added, “I doubt the federal government will be the main driver for a vaccination record concept. You may be involved in making sure things are done fairly and just, but I doubt the federal government will be the leading element of it. "
Indeed, the White House has ruled out any federal mandate on vaccination records, saying it will let the private sector "take the lead".
Many Americans have asked if a vaccination record would violate any laws against the distribution of personal health information, also known as HIPAA.
According to Lisa Proskin, executive director of Proskin law firm in Albany, New York, any app or paper documentation does not violate HIPAA laws because the person downloads the app themselves or searches for the vaccination record themselves.
Proskin continues, "I don't think it falls under the HIPAA. If the vaccine requires something with the doctor, and the doctors provide all of this information, it might be a little different. But as it is now, the person is who it does, the person who downloads the passport, the one who enters all the information. "
The US government will not issue so-called vaccination certificates, although the Biden administration plans to help companies develop the credentials https://t.co/OMvlHspiiF
– Bloomberg Economics (@economics) April 6, 2021
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