Missouri Senate votes to ban vaccine passports


FILE – In this undated photo, provided by NY Governor’s Press Office on Saturday March 27, 2021, is the new “Excelsior Pass” app, a digital pass that people can download to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test. Vaccine passports being developed to verify COVID-19 immunization status and allow inoculated people to more freely travel, shop and dine have become the latest flash point in America’s perpetual political wars, with Republicans portraying them as a heavy-handed intrusion into personal freedom and private health choices. (NY Governor’s Press Office via AP, File)

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Missouri’s Republican-led Senate on Wednesday voted to ban so-called vaccine passports in the state.

Senators voted 26-7 in favor of a wide-ranging bill that includes a ban on vaccine passports to travel in the state.

Vaccine passports are documentation that shows travelers have been vaccinated against COVID-19 or recently tested negative for the virus. Technology companies and travel-related trade groups are developing and testing out vaccine passports to encourage travel.

Republican Gov. Mike Parson has said he won’t require vaccine passports, which he emphasized again while speaking on Fox News Wednesday.

“If people want to carry a card that’s fine. It’s called freedom. It’s called individual rights,” Parson said. “But it’s not government’s place to do that.”

The Missouri bill would ban any requirements that travelers show proof of vaccination in order to fly, get a taxi or use public transportation in the state.

The bill now goes to the state House for consideration.

The state health department on Wednesday reported 2,175 confirmed coronavirus cases over the week of March 29, or on average about 311 new cases per day. Cases are down about 3% from the week prior.

Six new deaths were reported in the past week, bringing the total death toll in Missouri to at least 8,509.

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