Georgia joins the growing list of states that have banned COVID-19 vaccine passports over privacy concerns.
Republican Gov. Brian Kemp signed an executive order Tuesday preventing the state government from implementing or assisting private entities that seek to utilize vaccine passports. Kemp cited privacy and security concerns, declaring that getting vaccinated is a personal choice made by an individual.
"Today's executive order makes clear that vaccine passports will not be utilized in state government," Kemp said. "While I continue to urge all Georgians to get vaccinated so we continue our momentum in putting the COVID-19 pandemic in the rearview, vaccination is a personal decision between each citizen and a medical professional - not state government. This order also clearly states that data held by the Georgia Department of Public Health and their immunization system will not be used by any public or private entity for a vaccine passport program."
A growing list of Republican governors have banned vaccine passports in states, including Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Montana, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming.
Most of these bans come in the form of similar executive orders while others like Florida Governor Ron DeSantis have signed the ban into law.
Large corporations have threatened states who do this by removing their operations from the state. Cruise lines have told DeSantis that they will no longer be based in Florida if the vaccine passport ban continues.
Kemp is no stranger to corporate backlash, with Georgia's election integrity laws seeing widespread outrage from woke corporations.
Kemp had previously stated his commitment to banning vaccine passports in April. Democratic states like New York have already started distributing the passports. China and other Asian countries have done that as well. Canada and the United Kingdom also plan to implement a similar program.