An Arizona lawmaker has introduced a new bill that would stop businesses from requiring a customer to produce proof they had been vaccinated for COVID-19.

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Vaccine passports may be the future. For those looking to travel, shop or go to a concert, showing proof you got your shots could be your ticket to normalcy. The nation's first vaccine passport is rolling out in New York. While the concept is gaining attention across the country, it is also getting a mixed reaction.

Vaccine passport bill

The nation's first vaccine passport is rolling out in New York.

"I don't think this is a line we should cross in the state of Arizona," said Rep. Bret Roberts, R-District 11.

Roberts is among those pushing back. He is sponsoring House Bill 2190. It aims at preventing businesses from turning people away if they aren't vaccinated.

ACLU warns 'a lot can go wrong' with digital vaccine passports

"It will protect individuals' rights to medical privacy and that is the main reason behind it," said Roberts.

Julie Pace, a Valley employment attorney, said the bill goes too far. She believes businesses should be able to make their own decisions. Still, Pace said she doesn't see Arizona businesses or companies requiring customers to show proof of COVID-19 vaccinations.

"You are going to have disputes and problems. You start to mark people. I don't think we need to do that," said Pace.

Vaccine passport bill

 Right now, businesses and companies can require employees to get vaccinated. Roberts said the bill doesn't aim at changing that.

Right now, businesses and companies can require employees to get vaccinated. Roberts said the bill doesn't aim at changing that. The legislation now heads to the full state Senate.

In California, some counties are in different tiers where proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID test could allow more people at an establishment. 

"It's not an ideal thing to show like a little passport card that you get vaccinated, it helps somewhat to declare to the outside, 'oh yea, you did your part in order to protect yourself and others,' but it doesn't rule out anything in the short term," said Dr. Ernst von Schwarz, a cardiologist in Los Angeles. "There's pros and cons. On one end I think it's a good thing to follow-up and encourage individuals to get tested and vaccinated and on the other hand, there's no such thing as a 100% test." 
 
While many worry that something like a vaccine passport would violate consumer's medical privacy, Dr. von Schwarz says that information should not be available. 
 
"That passport or whatever kind of identity card will be used, should or could say is nothing else than whether or not that person has received a vaccine and when," Dr. von Schwarz explained. "No other healthcare information should be in that, not any former diseases, not any risk factors, not even the age of the individual." 
 
Dr. von Schwarz says it is far too soon to loosen mitigation efforts. He also said there is still a lot to learn about the different variants of the virus and how the vaccines will be affected. 
 
"We don't know if it will cause a more severe disease or if the vaccines might need to be adjusted or repeated for those mutations," Dr. von Schwarz said. 
 
HB 2190 has not yet been scheduled to be voted on in the Senate. 
 

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