News23ABC In-Depth


23ABC In-Depth: Vaccine passports - will you need one?

"They cannot refuse business on an illegal basis"
Posted: 10:23 PM, May 03, 2021
Updated: 2021-05-04 20:05:52-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — 23ABC is taking an in-depth look into whether or not you need proof of a COVID vaccination to travel, to return to school, or even to attend events.

It's a hotly debated topic, and it all depends on where you're headed and what you are planning on doing.

We'll be looking into vaccine passports, what they are, will they even become a real thing, and if it is even legal.

A vaccine passport is essentially asking for proof of a vaccine in order to go somewhere. For example, flying on a plane or attending a concert, but with this, we have seen some push back, including from Republicans like Congressman Kevin McCarthy. But one local attorney says this is legal and it could be a thing of the future.

Businesses do have the right to refuse service. They cannot however refuse business on an illegal basis. - Jay Rosenlib, local attorney

Legalities and ethicality of vaccine passports

Jay Rosenlib says that it is legal for a business or entity to ask for proof of a COVID-19 vaccine or proof of a COVID negative test, he also says asking the question doesn't end the discussion.

While a citizen's first amendment rights would not protect them from this, Rosenlieb says they should not be denied service with the proper legal documentation. For example, if someone has a medical condition that prevents them from getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

All businesses all venues have to provide reasonable accommodations and if someone has a medical disability they can't deny entry to that. - Rosenlib

There is also a chance this could become a federal mandate.

But what about employees? 55% of service industry executives said they will not require a vaccine for their employees to return to work according to a survey by Deloitte.

More than 50% of executives in the financial and energy agreed, and only 9% of all executives said they would require a vaccine.

23ABC spoke with Doctor Glenn Melnick, a senior fellow at the USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics.

He is also the Blue Cross of California Chair in Health Care Finance at the USC Price School of Public Policy. See our full interview with Dr. Melnick below.

23ABC takes an in-depth look at vaccine passports

Monday, the governor of Florida once again said that Florida will not be using a vaccine passport while he signed a new COVID-19 order for the state.

Florida lawmakers gave final approval Thursday night to a bill that would make permanent a ban on COVID-19 vaccine “passports,”

states banning and encouraging vaccine passports

Governor Ron DeSantis issued an executive order blocking so-called COVID-19 passports on April 2.

Florida is not the only state banning or trying to ban vaccine passports.

Texas, Georgia, Tennessee, Missouri and Nebraska, Idaho, Montana have expressed strong disagreement in regards to the passports.

But other states are working toward the passport.

New York, Illinois, Hawaii have all expressed interest in the passport.

Other states have some representatives who agree while others are working against it.

California is effectively encouraging venues to require proof of vaccination, as they are allowed to bring in more people if they do.

But state officials have emphasized they won’t require them.