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Vaccine Passports Would Hurt Minorities The Most, Data Shows

(Photo by ORLANDO SIERRA/AFP via Getty Images)

Dylan Housman General Assignment & Analysis Reporter
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Public vaccination data reveals that the implementation of a “vaccine passport” system would disproportionately harm black and brown Americans.

An ongoing analysis of vaccination rates by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that less than 30% of black and Hispanic Americans have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as of May 10. That compares to a rate of 40% for white Americans and 50% for Asian Americans.

The CDC updated guidance last week to recommend that vaccinated individuals should not have to wear masks in most indoor and outdoor settings. The announcement triggered a new round of debate over the potential need for vaccine passports or certificates in order to verify who is and isn’t vaccinated. (RELATED: Fauci Says COVID-19 Showed The ‘Undeniable Effects Of Racism’)

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have both publicly said that people must get vaccinated in order to shed their masks for the summer. The Biden administration has also publicly claimed there will not be a government-mandated vaccine verification system, but it’s unclear how businesses and venues can enforce different rules for vaccinated and unvaccinated people without one. (RELATED: Vermont Opens Vaccine Availability To All Who ‘Identify’ As Minorities)

The vaccination rates in minority communities continue to lag behind the rate among white Americans despite a concerted effort from the Biden administration to promote vaccine equity. Racial data is not available for every single vaccination appointment in the U.S., but the KFF analysis of 42 different states’ data found that the portion of black and Hispanic residents who are vaccinated in most states is lower than the proportion who have gotten coronavirus or died of it.