PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - As more Oregonians get first and second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, there is continued discussion about how their vaccination records might be used in the future.
The idea of a "vaccine passports" has been the topic of frequent discussion, but critics have brought up potential issues with equity and civil rights.
"That's a very highly contested issue right now," said Chunhuei Chi, a public health researcher at Oregon State University.
On its website, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention instructs people to keep their vaccination card in case they need it for future use.
What's far from clear is what that future use might be.
"One possible scenario for domestic is some airline might want to see, for a longer flight, want to see passenger have a certificate proving they have been vaccinated," said Chi.
Locally, the Oregon Health Authority has said it will be reviewing the state's health and safety guidelines to update them for vaccinated people, but that so-called "vaccine passports" are not an item under active consideration.
The World Health Organization likewise doesn't support requiring vaccine passports for travel.
"We need to be very, very careful that the process of certifying vaccination does not result in personal freedoms or human rights being impeded in any way. That is not justified," said Dr. Michael Ryan, Executive Director of the WHO's Health Emergencies Program.
Among the reasons to tread cautiously, uncertainty about how well vaccines prevent transmission of COVID-19, and the potential for discrimination against people who aren't able to be vaccinated.
"There are multiple barriers for the minority people to get vaccinated. And so there is a concern that if the government or business or schools start to require vaccine certificate or passport, there's a potential risk of discrimination," said Chi.
The governor of Florida recently issued an executive order preventing businesses from requiring customers to show proof of vaccination for entry.
In Washington, D.C., the Biden administration has said it will not create or require a federal vaccination credential.