Knock Down Barriers to Vaccination

Act Now

Many New Yorkers remain wary of getting the COVID vaccine. Some fear that getting one will mean their personal information could end up in the hands of ICE or other federal government agencies. Meanwhile, MPV/monkeypox is spreading in New York, and, while anyone can contract MPV, some may fear being outed as gay if they get the vaccine.

TAKE ACTION: Tell the Governor to knock down barriers to vaccination, further protect personal information, and make sure vaccine passports don’t cut the most vulnerable off from society.

Message Recipients:
Governor Kathy Hochul

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Many New Yorkers fear that sharing personal information to get a COVID vaccine will put them at risk of criminalization or deportation.

They are worried their personal information will be shared broadly, including with ICE or law enforcement. Until these New Yorkers trust that their information will be protected, they may resist getting vaccinated.

Meanwhile, MPV is spreading in New York, reportedly in particular among men who have sex with men. Because there are not enough MPV vaccine doses available, only gay, bisexual, or other men who have sex with men, as well as trans people who have had multiple or anonymous sex partners in the last 14 days are eligible for vaccination. Some men who have sex with men may be afraid to receive an MPV vaccination, because they fear being outed.

Finally, the use of vaccine passports threaten to cut people off from society. Because immunity passports rely on presenting proof of medical information to gain entry to public places, left unchecked, they could track immense amounts of information about New Yorkers: where they spend their time and with whom, as well as their health status.

I’m writing to urge you to sign legislation that passed both legislative chambers unanimously and that will knock down barriers to vaccination, further protect personal information, and put critical guardrails in place for the use of vaccine passports.

A.7326-A/S.6541-A enhances protections for information in our state Immunization Information System so that personal details can’t be shared with law enforcement or ICE. And it ensures that the information people share to make a vaccine appointment is similarly kept safe.

The bill also imposes important safeguards for immunity passports. The legislation will prevent these technologies from becoming universal tracking devices and will ensure they can’t be used to criminalize or deport anyone or to take away anyone’s children.

The end of the pandemic cannot come soon enough and the growing health emergency of MPV must be stopped immediately. This legislation will help achieve both critical goals.


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