Michigan Lawmaker Aims to Ban ‘Vaccine Passports’

Phone with a QR code on it
by Scott McClallen


One Republican aims to ban “vaccine passports” in a package expected to be introduced Wednesday.

The governors of Florida, Texas, Utah, and Idaho have passed legislation or executive orders prohibiting the use of vaccine passports, while a Minnesota bill aims to do the same.

Rep. Beau LaFave, R-Iron Mountain, announced a plan to prohibit a possible vaccine passport plan that would provide proof whether someone is vaccinated for COVID-19.

“Vaccine passports are a terrible idea that will only get us access to one ominous place: A totalitarian state where privacy is lost and personal freedoms are a thing of the past,” LaFave said in a statement. “Misguided politicians who support these new forms of identification are stripping away people’s core civil liberties, and we all must come together to stop this abhorrent idea in Michigan.”

LaFave said some people can’t get a COVID-19 vaccine for health reasons, and it’s unfair to mandate the vaccine.

“I want to be clear: I support vaccines in general and encourage people over the age of 16 who are concerned about getting COVID-19 to take one of the three vaccines currently available,” LaFave said. “But the government should never try to intimidate and bully people into getting a vaccine. It’s their body, and it should be their choice.”

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services spokeswoman Lynn Sutfin told The Center Square they’re focusing on “vaccinating as many Michiganders as possible, while also working to increase COVID testing as cases increase,” Sutfin wrote in an email. Michiganders have received 5 million COVID-19 vaccines thus far.

New York currently has a vaccine passport program that will allow customers of venues to show digital proof of vaccination or negative test results. The governors of Hawaii and Illinois have also voiced support for vaccine passports.

“I will soon introduce legislation to make it unlawful for Governor Whitmer to implement a vaccine passport program,” LaFave said. “As a conservative, it will always be my belief that government should play a limited role in our lives, and I will always do what I can do ensure my constituents are protected from a vast government overreach.”

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Scott McClallen is a staff writer covering Michigan and Minnesota for The Center Square. A graduate of Hillsdale College, his work has appeared on Forbes.com and FEE.org. Previously, he worked as a financial analyst at Pepsi.

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