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“Vaccine Passports:” Let’s travel

Published: Apr. 27, 2021 at 6:29 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - What have been called “vaccine passports” have been on the radar.

They’re not actually a passport, because that would be provided by the federal government. Rather, it’s a means of confirming that you’ve received a COVID-19 vaccination. Requiring such things is something that isn’t uncommon for deadly diseases.

Verne Goodsell, a Medical Affairs Attorney, generalizes what these resemble.

“So, what we’re really talking about here is, simply, vaccine confirmation. That’s not any different than when you went to grade school and had to make sure that you had your Measles shot and your Mumps shot, and Typhoid, and probably Small Pox and Polio,” says Goodsell.

When it comes to travelling safely and stopping deadly viruses, the CDC often requires immunity.

“Like, for Yellow Fever,” Goodsell says. “If you’re going to travel to certain countries that’s the required vaccine you have to have.”

Language like “low risk” and “high risk” refer to how likely someone is to spread COVID-19, or how deadly if contracted.

What’s being called a “vaccine passport” will not violate any personal information laws. It will be digital or on paper, proving that you are a low risk individual.

Dr. Shankar Kurra, Monument Health’s Medical Affairs Vice President, says it will give you access to things like travel, and that the legislature won’t mandate disclosing personal health information.

“Without violating personal information of what vaccine you took or if you took a vaccine,” says Kurra. “This will be something you can always have saying that you are at low risk and then, therefore, can travel.”

Large group gatherings are also something that might require such confirmation.

Governor Kristi Noem has banned them in South Dakota for anything government related, “I’ve signed an executive order to ban vaccine passports in South Dakota,” she said.

This will not effect private businesses capable of large gatherings that are separate from the government.

Considering the size of South Dakota, it’s likely the so-called “passports” won’t have much impact on the state. Unless you like to fly like Attorney Goodsell’s wife.

“People that don’t travel probably aren’t going to pay any attention to it. People that travel a lot, my wife for example, is a gypsy. She goes any place she can go, anytime she can get there. Particularly out the United States if there’s a cheap ticket,” Goodsell said with a laugh.

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