NEW YORK (NewsNation Now) — There’s currently no plan for a federal vaccine passport system but cities, states and private companies have developed their own apps as a secure and socially-distant option.
Excelsior Pass, the U.S.’ first vaccine passport, is now also the “Key to NYC” as a way to streamline checks at public venues. Now it’s a crucial component of everyday life in New York City.
If you want to dine in a restaurant, work out in a gym or hit a show, you need proof of vaccination.
“This is crucial,” said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio while touting the pass’ benefits.
In the state next door, New Jersey offers the ‘Docket’ app, to carry and prove your vaccination status free of charge.
Other jurisdictions across the country are looking at, if not a passport, something close to it.
“We’re talking about more ability for people to be able to download their records in a formal way,” Dr. Allison Arwady, Commissioner of Chicago’s Department of Public Health, said.
There are a lot of app options, but the rollout has been less than perfect.
NYC’s Covid Safe app reportedly accepted a photo of Mickey Mouse as proof of vaccination.
If that sounds a little goofy, the founder of the Surveillance Technology Project says it should.
“When you’re talking about new vaccine apps, there’s a lot of risk that the apps are gonna discriminate, that they’re gonna exclude people .. That there are gonna be errors. And that there’s gonna be an impact on privacy,” said Albert Fox Cahn, The Surveillance Technology Oversight Project’s Executive Director.
New York state’s Excelsior Pass is better technology, but it was developed for $27 million.