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Alabama doctors weigh in on 'vaccine passports'

Vaccine passport developments are underway in some states.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — "Vaccine Passports" are being developed in some states. The would-be passports are proof of COVID vaccination. However, many conservatives are opposed to the idea.

Our WZDX News reporter has insight from doctors.

"So, in my opinion it doesn't need to be called "vaccine passport", but it's vaccine certificate that you've been vaccinated, and you've been immunized," says Huntsville Hospital Infectious Disease Specialist, Dr. Ali Hassoun.

Hassoun says required medical documentation isn't something new. "If you look at it in general, it is something that has been done for entering schools. If you want to travel certain countries they ask you for vaccinations for certain agencies," he says.

Alabama Department of Public Health's Assistant State Health Officer, Dr. Karen Landers, says if you have been vaccinated, just keeping record of it is helpful for your own sake. "Keep in mind that as we like to remember as we step on a nail, when was my last tetanus shot? Same thing. When was my COVID vaccine? And keep that record. It's a medical record," she says.

Landers says one way is having your vaccination card. Each person is given one after the first dose. In the case of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, it would be the first and only dose.

For those who are hesitant about vaccination, here's a message for you:

"This vaccine is safe. This vaccine is effective. We know from the clinical trials that this vaccine can have significant impact on a person's potential for severe illness, hospitalization, and even death," says Landers.

"We're going to have to think about it's not about me, it's not about you when I take the vaccine. It's the public health issue. If I care about my loved one, if I care about my community, if I want to go back to normal as much as possible, then you're going to need to get vaccinated," adds Hassoun.

Vaccine passports are left up to private sectors. The Biden administration is reported to develop guidelines for those passports.