HARRISBURG – Pennsylvanians should not be forced to carry a “vaccine passport” to prove their COVID-19 vaccination status, said Rep. Clint Owlett (R-Tioga/Bradford/Potter).
The state of New York is already working to implement a passport system, and it’s being discussed in other states as well as the federal government.
“People have been forced to give up so many things over the past year due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Owlett said. “We must never ask them to give up their privacy, particularly when it comes to their private medical information, which is supposed to be protected under federal law.
“It’s pretty ridiculous to me that other states are even considering a vaccine passport. That New York is actually moving forward with it is unfathomable,” he added.
Owlett noted that whether to obtain a vaccination for COVID-19 is up to individual citizens. The General Assembly has been working with the administration through the COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force to help improve accessibility and availability of vaccine to those who want it.
The administration recently announced a schedule to expand eligibility for the vaccine. According to the Department of Health, all Pennsylvanians who want the vaccine will be eligible to begin scheduling appointments on Monday, April 19.
“I’m pleased we are making progress in giving people access to the vaccine if they choose to get it,” Owlett said. “That’s where our role should stop. Vaccine mandates and vaccine passports would represent a vast overreach of government into the lives of our citizens.”
Owlett said he would wholeheartedly support any legislation to prohibit the creation of a vaccine passport program.
Representative Clint Owlett
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Patricia Hippler