The Orange County Board of Supervisors voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to halt a measure which would have led to the development of digital vaccination QR codes, also known as “vaccine passports,” within the county.
Four of the five Supervisors voted against the proposal. The only one to vote in support was Katrina Foley, who represents the 2nd District of Orange County. Foley described vaccine passports as a common-sense measure which would help individuals and businesses, and decried their opponents as “people who in the past year have denied that COVID exists, denied the pandemic, have marched on our United States Capitol, participated in the insurrection.”
The measure, however, was opposed by all four of Foley’s fellow Supervisors, including Chairman Andrew Do, as well as Lisa Bartlett, Doug Chaffee, Donald Wagner. Do said that the discussion around the issue was “becoming counter-productive.”
The vaccine passport proposal, in its most recent form, would have given businesses and other entities the means to verify an individual’s vaccination status, and, if they so choose, denying entry to the unvaccinated. This proposal was the first of its kind, and is considered by many to be unconstitutional.
The decision to drop the passport proposal was supported by hundreds of Orange County residents who showed up at the meeting Tuesday to make their voices heard.
Although the Supervisors have tabled the proposal, they left open the possibility that they may revisit it at some point in the future. However, in the words of Supervisor Bartlett, any such future discussion must be centered around “personal choice (and) individual freedom.”