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New York Rolls Out Vaccine Passport

New York is the first state to formally launch a “vaccine passport” program, allowing New Yorkers to pull up a code on their phones to prove they have received a vaccine for the Chinese coronavirus or have tested negative.

The vaccine passport, called the Excelsior Pass, is what USA Today describes as a “first-in-the-nation certification,” which will be used at large-scale events and entertainment venues. It became available to New Yorkers on Friday, and the venues that accept it are expected to expand in the coming days and weeks.

This month, the Cuomo administration announced the Excelsior Pass, developed in partnership with IBM, would be tested at Madison Square Garden and Barclays Center.

“We’re doing everything we can to vaccinate as many New Yorkers as possible, as quickly as possible, while keeping the infection rate down and reenergizing our economy in a safe, smart way,” Cuomo said in a statement.

“As we begin reopening the valves on different sectors of our economy, we are putting guidelines in place to ensure individuals attending events involving larger gatherings have tested negative for COVID or have been vaccinated to avoid an outbreak of the virus,” he continued.

“The Excelsior Pass will play a critical role in getting information to venues and sites in a secure and streamlined way, allowing us to fast-track the reopening of these businesses and getting us one step closer to reaching a new normal,” he added.