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Delta has changed the game; it's time to embrace vaccine verification system

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By Neil Jay Sehgal

In April, as COVID-19 was on the decline in the United States, and our collective optimism about the pandemic's end was palpable, the Biden administration insisted that there would be no federal vaccinations database and no federal mandate requiring a single vaccination credential.

Such vaccine verification ― the so-called "vaccine passport" ― is politically fraught, much like everything else surrounding this pandemic. Today, 20 Republican-controlled states prohibit proof-of-vaccination requirements, and only four states, California, New York, Hawaii and Oregon, have created vaccine verification systems.

The virus that these states and the federal government were legislating for is a thing of the past, however. The delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 is so much more infectious than previous strains that it behaves in many ways like a different virus entirely. Yet, even as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) acknowledges that the war has changed, our thinking about vaccine verification has not.

When the CDC recommended in May that fully vaccinated people didn't need to wear masks in most settings, businesses in most states were forced to trust........

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