More than 50 percent of eligible Americans have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to the CDC. As vaccination numbers have increased, policy discussions have been ongoing in government regarding various rules around the use of proof-of-vaccination requirements. These have taken on two primary forms:
- Bans on proof-of-vaccination requirements in certain circumstances
- Implementing policies—sometimes called vaccine passports—that allow vaccinated people to bypass COVID-19 restrictions or engage in activities unavailable to unvaccinated people.
Thirteen states — Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Montana, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, and Utah — have prohibited proof-of-vaccination requirements at all or some levels of government. All 13 of those states have a Republican governor. In Alabama, Florida, Iowa, Montana, and Texas, bans on proof-of-vaccination requirements extend to some private businesses. Governors in eight states banned proof-of-vaccination requirements through executive orders. In five states, legislators passed laws banning proof-of-vaccination requirements.
Three states with Democratic governors — Hawaii, New York, and Oregon — exempt fully vaccinated individuals from some COVID-19 restrictions if they can provide proof of vaccination. In Hawaii, inter-island travelers can upload their vaccination status to a digital application that allows them to bypass travel restrictions. In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) launched Excelsior Pass, a voluntary app vaccinated people can use to access sections at outdoor venues reserved for fully vaccinated individuals. In Oregon, businesses that verify vaccine status can allow customers to forego masks.