Newsom says vaccine certification will come to California, but ‘it’s not a passport’

As California also reopened this week, freeing people fully vaccinated for COVID-19 from most pandemic bans, Governor Gavin Newsom has once again stated that the state will soon be introduced an electronic vaccination certification program.

Such digital health certificates, also called “vaccine certificates,” have become a hotly debated issue. Opponents have raised privacy and equity concerns, while supporters say digital certificates can improve public safety and accelerate economic recovery.

The Biden administration has said it will not create a federal vaccination system, but will allow the private sector or local jurisdiction to create certification systems or require proof of vaccination of their own volition.

Other states, including Florida and Texas, have imposed restrictions or limitations of vaccination certificates, such as prohibiting their issuance or use, prohibiting businesses or governments from requesting them, or prohibiting mandatory use by individuals. Most do not forbid or ask for them.

Newsom made its announcement cautiously Monday.

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