State set to roll out vaccine passport program, but CT Republicans still have concerns
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) – Connecticut is getting ready to roll out a digital vaccine health card.
Some call it a passport, but the governor says it’s not mandated by the state.
However, businesses can require proof of vaccination.
Republicans are critical, saying the contract was signed without legislative approval.
According to the governor, this falls under his authority in the executive branch and he’s given approval for this health card.
The smart card portion of it actually launched on Monday. People can head to the Department of Public Health’s website here to check their status and download the QR code.
He called it just another tool for them to keep their business and customers safe.
Lamont said earlier this month that he wanted to see the passports by the end of December.
He said his office was working with surrounding states. New York City already implemented a similar program.
House Republican leader Rep. Vincent Candelora held a news conference to address the digital vaccine passport program initiated by Gov. Ned Lamont.
Among their concerns was that the contract and its details weren’t made available until now.
“Getting information about the pandemic has not been very swift and while the governor can be nimble at issuing executive orders, they are not so nimble about providing the data that we want to see how our constituents are impacted,” Rep. Vinnie Candelora said.
Republicans are also raising concerns about privacy and protecting people’s health records.
“Which one is one is easier, having a digital record on your phone, because I carry this with me everywhere I go. It has photos of kids on it, it has access to my banking records on it, but also has my vaccine record or do I have to carry around this flimsy card?” Max Reiss, director of communications for Gov. Ned Lamont, says.
Pretty much everything on our phones is at risk for being hacked.
We use our phones for lots of things and now we can show our vaccine status.
Instead of carrying around your vaccine card, you download the Smart Health app, download your vaccine card, and that converts your card to a QR code for businesses to scan.
“I would support it. If I went out to restaurants a lot, I would get it. I would jump on board,” Pat Caron of Andover says.
“You’ve got it there for whenever you need it. It’s very simple,” Josh Geballe with the state Department of Administrative Services noted.
The governor’s office says it only has info on vaccine status and…
“All information obtained by Envision under this contract shall become and remain property of the state of Connecticut…at no time shall any data or processes…be copied, disclosed, or retained by Envision or any party related to Envision.”
“It makes sense to be cautious about personal information, but I think a lot of our personal information is already unsecured on the internet anyway,” Raquel Oteggi of Hamden added.