Vaccine Passports


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Brooke Kruger, Opinion Writer

As the Covid-19 vaccine quickly rolls out through North Dakota, students at the University of North Dakota have the ability to get vaccinated. Along with the vaccine dispersion, vaccine passports have become necessary in many countries and states. In March, New York became the first state to launch the use of vaccine passports. “Vaccine passports” are digital or paper certificates showing proof that an individual has been vaccinated.  

The US government is currently exploring the use of vaccine passports, mainly for international travel. Individual states are looking into the use of vaccine passports for domestic travel and access to certain institutions, establishments, and events. Currently, the federal government is not implementing country-wide passports.  

As of late April, there are about a dozen US states that are in opposition to vaccine passports, including North Dakota. A bill is currently on its way to the North Dakota’s Governor Burgum with hopes to ban the use of vaccine passports. This bill would ban agencies and businesses from requiring customers’ entrance to in-person locations. Higher education is exempt from this bill as of right now, leaving potential for vaccine passports to be implemented at the University of North Dakota.  

Requiring students to have a vaccine passport to be allowed into on-campus classrooms, university organizations, campus residency, or employment facilities could be an infringement on students’ rights to personal liberty. Tennessee Governor Bill Lee spoke out about vaccine passports earlier this month:  

“I oppose vaccine passports. The Covid-19 vaccine should be a personal health choice, not a government requirement. I am supporting legislation to prohibit any government-mandated vaccine passports to protect the privacy of Tennesseans’ health information and ensure this vaccine remains voluntary, personal choice.” 

It is unclear at this time if Governor Burgum feels the same way. Although the allowance of vaccine passports for students might allow institutions to reopen around the country, others may see it as an overreach from the government.  


Brooke Kruger is a Dakota Student News Editor. She can be reached at [email protected]