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San Joaquin County Supervisors Ban 'Vaccine Passports'

LODI (CBS13) - While some counties are requiring people to provide proof of vaccination, one local county is doing the opposite.

On Tuesday, the San Joaquin Board of Supervisors voted to ban so-called "vaccine passports". Supervisors say they are taking a stand and representing the public who, in their county, largely disagrees with vaccine mandates.

"I 100 percent support it, that's why I love where I live," explained Lodi resident, Regan Edalgo.

"I feel like a passport is a good way to make sure all of us are protected," said another resident, Joseph Woelfel.

The resolution prohibits the need to show proof you've received a COVID vaccine to enter county buildings.

"I think overall it's a good thing because again you are infringing on other people's rights," said county resident Richard Hartley.

"It is your choice but I think it's our choice to be able to feel safe too," explained Stockton resident Linda Baskin.

Counties including San Francisco and L.A. already require proof of vaccination for places like gyms and restaurants -- a misstep in supervisors' eyes.

"Do you know of any other illness that we have to announce to everyone that asks? I don't. Also, this mandate and path forward is a disaster to civil rights and for equity," said Supervisor Robert Rickman during the meeting.

The resolution was initiated after state discussions of possible further restrictions. Supervisor Tom Patti explained the board is being preemptive instead of being reactive.

"We are representing the will of the people, the people came out with resounding support of their freedom and the freedom of others," he explained. "A passport is kin to ostracizing and marginalizing other citizens and you can't support that," he said.

Patti said the county is taking a stand against the state on what they will and will not do when it comes to vaccine requirements. While the resolution passed unanimously, it is now a law. Only county offices are required to follow the ban, while private businesses are strongly suggested to do the same.

"Everyone should be free to choose whether or not to receive the COVID vaccination and or boosters and no one should be discriminated against for the personal medical decisions they make," said Patti during the meeting.

For some, it's a step backward in the fight against the pandemic.

"If you are not going to be wearing a mask or something, I think you should be able to have to show proof for it, explained Baskin.

But for others, it's a move in the right direction.

"I'd like the government to stay out of my business and be my own person," said Edalgo.

Patti explained that the resolution is only the first step. The board is now looking to make the ban on so-called vaccine passports an ordinance. The county is still researching what authority they would have over public and private businesses as well as cities.

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