Will New Hampshire use vaccine records, like the vaccination cards, to restrict access to government buildings or as a requirement to visit a long-term care facility? Will private businesses be allowed to request these records from customers or deny services?
It’s hardly a stretch. Gov. Chris Sununu has already ordered every restaurant to collect contact information on its dine-in customers. Why not a scan of their vaccination cards? And what happens when restaurants start marketing “All our employees have their vaccines — dine safely here!”? Or when a business hangs up a sign that reads “No Shirt, No Shoes, No Shots — No Service?”
The N.H. DHHS declined repeated requests for comment on this story.
In Kentucky, Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack explained to state residents on Wednesday that receiving the vaccine would put them on the National Immuno Registry. “The federal government is going to provide vaccination cards that we will provide for people when they get a vaccine,” Stack said. “I don’t want to minimize this. This, and other parts of this, are just parts of what makes this a complex undertaking.”
On Thursday, Sununu said the general population in New Hampshire wouldn’t likely begin receiving vaccines until March or April. It will take months longer before immunization levels reach some equivalency of herd immunity.
“And we’re not mandating it. We are not mandating a vaccine at the state level, but I think we’re going to see a high demand for it based on its efficacy,” Sununu said.
In the meantime, vaccination cards or “immunization passports” could become part of the conversation.
In May, electronic health records company EPIC said it was looking into developing a phone app that will say “whether you are tested and you’re clear, whether you are currently not safe, whether you have COVID right now.” According to CEO Judy Faulkner, it would show red for someone who has COVID-19, green for someone who’s clear and yellow if the status is unknown.
Noah Rothman of Commentary Magazine has been covering the “Immunity Caste” issue for months. “There needs to be legislation barring private interests from using this [vaccination cards] to de facto stratify society and it needs to be done now,” he said Friday.