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Almost two-thirds of Americans back some kind of vaccine ID, new poll finds

Oliver O'Connell
·2-min read
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi holds up a Vaccination Record Card after receiving a Covid-19 vaccine shot  (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi holds up a Vaccination Record Card after receiving a Covid-19 vaccine shot (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

New polling by Morning Consult finds that more than three in five Americans say that they would like digital certification that they have been vaccinated against Covid-19.

However, conversely, most do not want to have to prove their status to access businesses or services.

Vaccine passports have become a political talking point in several countries. Designed to establish an individual’s immunisation status, the thinking behind them is that such a document, digital or otherwise, would allow people to travel or partake in other activities.

Americans that receive a vaccine shot are already handed a paper vaccination record card showing the date and type of vaccine they received.

New York state has rolled out its digital “Excelsior Pass” which shows vaccination status or a valid negative test result for Covid-19. It remains the only state to have done so and participation is voluntary for both individuals and businesses or venues.

Morning Consult’s survey found that 63 per cent of American adults were in favour of a digital document to show they had been vaccinated.

Only 46 per cent supported a requirement for vaccinated individuals to carry it with them.

There were slightly more people (53 per cent) in favour of people being required to carry any proof that they had been vaccinated, rather than a digital record.

Allowing employers to require employees show proof of vaccination before working received the support of 50 per cent of respondents.

Only 40 percent were in favour of allowing businesses to require proof that individuals had been vaccinated prior to entering the premises, and just 36 per cent were in favour of banning unvaccinated people.

The Biden administration said that it will not require vaccine passports, but will advise private companies that are developing them.

There is no consensus from the public regarding whom should develop vaccine passports, with 21 per cent saying it should be the federal government, and 20 per cent saying that Washington should provide private companies with guidelines.

Only seven per cent were in favour of private companies going it alone, while 30 per cent said neither the government nor the private sector should develop a digital vaccine passport.

Despite the overall willingness to have proof of vaccination, 62 per cent of adults have concerns about data protection with a digital solution.

Republican governors of Texas, Mississippi, and Florida have all banned their states from requiring proof of vaccination.

Governor Greg Abbott of Texas called such a mandate a violation of “personal freedoms”.

Morning Consult conducted the survey of 2,200 American adults between 2-4 April. Results have a margin of error of two percentage points.

As of 13 April, there have been 31.2 million confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the US and 562,718 officially recorded deaths.

More than 190 million vaccine doses have been administered and 74.1 million Americans are now fully vaccinated — 22.6 per cent of the population.

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