HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — There’s a new passport that’s all the rage in New York. It doesn’t get you into other countries but does help you gain entrance to crowded events. It requires proof of COVID-19 vaccination. Republican lawmakers in Harrisburg are opposed and say they hope it has no shot in Pennsylvania.
It’s called a vaccine passport and it’s billed as a ticket to a sense of normalcy. It’s proof that you had your shot to get onto a plane, into a concert, Hershey Park or a Phillies game.
To be able to take comfort knowing everybody in the crowd has been vaccinated. Governor Tom Wolf isn’t pushing it but is generally supportive.
“You used to have one when you traveled overseas it was part of your passport, it was a yellow card that showed what immunizations you got,” Wolf explained. “I would think that would be a fairly easy thing to do.”
Pa. Senator Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-York) is one of the Republican lawmakers opposing the idea.
“We believe this is government overreach,” Phillips-Hill said.
Phillips-Hill said she will get a vaccine, but hasn’t yet, and is pushing a bill prohibiting the Governor from requiring passports in Pa.
“It will infringe on their right to privacy with regard to their medical information and it might discriminate against individuals who may not have been able to get a vaccine,” Phillips-Hill said.
“I just have grave concerns,” Rep. Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre, Mifflin) said.
House Majority Leader Benninghoff has yet to be vaccinated, too, but when he is, doesn’t want that data on the information superhighway.
“Who will then have access to that. Is that gonna go through the Google network, does it go through the Facebook network, what mega tech company is now gonna have your information?” Benninghoff said.
He also worries that passport would have no expiration date.
“When does this stop? What other things are now gonna be required to be put on that and is this something you’re gonna have to have for the rest of your life?” Benninghoff said.
There are no passport bills in the state legislature and the folks at Hershey tell abc27 they haven’t discussed it either.