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GOP lawmaker wants to outlaw ‘vaccine passports’ in Ohio




A Department of Health and Human Services employee holds a COVID-19 vaccine record card. Photo from the U.S. Department of Defense.

A Republican lawmaker wants to prohibit “vaccine passports” in the state of Ohio, saying that doing so will ensure residents will maintain their freedom during the pandemic’s final stages.

State Rep. Al Cutrona, R-Canfield, wants to outlaw any requirement that Ohioans show proof of a COVID-19 vaccination “in order to be allowed entry into an area of establishment,” a news release announcing the proposed legislation states.

“Ohioans are encouraged to take the COVID-19 vaccine for the health and well-being of themselves and others,” Cutrona stated. “However, a vaccine should not be mandated or required by our government for our people to integrate back to a sense of normalcy. We’ve had restrictions on our freedoms for over a year and more restrictions or mandates are not the answer to every issue related to COVID-19.”

Such vaccine passports have been suggested for international travel, though New York recently announced a digital “Excelsior Pass” to allow residents there to attend theaters, stadiums, wedding receptions and other large-scale events.

“Ohio is not New York,” Cutrona stated. “I anticipate introducing this bill to ensure that the liberties of all Ohioans are instilled throughout this vaccination phase of the pandemic.”

Gov. Mike DeWine has not indicated any plan to institute a vaccine passport program in Ohio, though President Joe Biden’s administration is reported to be working on a nation-wide program.

Other Republicans have condemned the concept as well, including U.S. Senate candidate Josh Mandel:

Details about Ohio’s vaccination program and how to book an appointment are available on the Ohio Department of Health website by clicking here.

This story was republished from the Ohio Capital Journal under a Creative Commons license.

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