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Northern California Congressman proposes bill to ban 'COVID-19 passports'

The bill Rep. Doug LaMalfa introduced would prohibit travel companies from denying service "solely because such individual lacks COVID-19 related documentation."
Credit: TEGNA

RICHVALE, Calif. — A Northern California Congressman is pushing back against growing interesting in "COVID-19 passports."

Representative Doug LaMalfa (R-Richvale) introduced one of two bills that would "prohibit the use of 'COVID Vaccine Passports.'”

“It is unacceptable in this country that someone might be denied service because they are unable to receive a vaccine injection due to legitimate health reasons, availability, or simply because they choose not to receive one," LaMalfa said in a press release. 

The bill that LaMalfa has introduced would prohibit air carriers and Amtrak from denying service "solely because such individual lacks COVID-19 related documentation."

While LaMalfa is proposing these bills, the White House, on the other hand, has ruled out the creation of a national “vaccine passport” for Americans to verify their immunization status, saying it is leaving it to the private sector to develop a system for people show they've been vaccinated. Some other countries are establishing national databases to allow vaccinated people to resume normal activities.

“We do know that there is a segment of the population that is concerned that the government will play too heavy-handed of a role in monitoring their vaccinations," White House COVID-19 adviser Andy Slavitt said at a recent press conference. He said officials are worried that “it would discourage people” from getting vaccinated if the federal government was involved.

The CDC suggests you keep your vaccine card while also recommending taking a picture of it if you lose the original. Tegna's Verify team determined if a vaccine passport does come to fruition, it will not violate HIPAA guidelines.

Watch more from ABC10:

Demand for vaccine outpacing supply in California

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