Colorado Health Officials Explore Idea of Vaccine Passports
With almost all Coloradans now eligible for COVID-19 vaccines, a new question lingers about the state’s return to normal: Will residents be required to show proof of immunization to once again attend concerts, restaurants and sporting events?
As of now, there is no statewide program and White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Friday that any potential vaccine passports will be “driven by the private sector.” But local public health experts said it’s likely we’ll see such initiatives in the coming months — and Colorado’s health department is looking into vaccine passports.
“While we are exploring what’s working in other states, anything we do will be specific to Colorado and our needs,” a spokesperson for the state Department of Public Health and Environment said in an email. “A business could not access a customer’s protected health information, such as their COVID-19 immunization status, unless that person volunteered that information.”
The idea behind a passport program, such as the one just launched in New York, is that people could use an app or other digital method to confirm they are vaccinated to resume activities — particularly for travel or attending large entertainment and sporting events — that have been restricted during the pandemic.
The efforts to develop a way for people to show they have received the vaccine come as the state has both begun rolling back COVID-19 restrictions and expanded access to the vaccines to anyone 16 and older. Variants of the coronavirus still remain a threat as cases begin to trend upward and hospitalizations largely have plateaued, but state and federal officials have said they believe things will begin returning to normal by summer.
Plans already are underway for Coloradans to attend entertainment and sporting events that previously were restricted because of the pandemic. After being closed for most of the past year, Red Rocks Amphitheatre will reopen later this month with a 2,500-person capacity. The venue doesn’t plan to have concertgoers show proof of vaccination — yet. Read Full Article >