The San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 on Tuesday to send a letter to California leaders to formally oppose COVID-19 vaccine passports.
The topic first came up at the last Board of Supervisors meeting on May 4, when many residents took to the public comment period to voice their opposition to the idea of a vaccine passport, prompting board members to formally discuss the subject at this week's meeting.
"This is a free country," said SLO County resident Gary Kirkland during the May 4 meeting. "People should be able to travel freely and without any kind of passport in our own country, including a vaccine passport."
At Tuesday's board meeting, supervisors announced they would be sending a letter to 6th District Assemblyman Kevin Kiley supporting Assembly Bill 327, a proposed bill that would ban public and private entities that receive state funds from verifying customers' COVID-19 vaccine status.
Even though this program does not exist at the state or local level as of now, one board member agreed this would help alleviate people's concerns about mandated vaccine passports.
Others argued the bill itself had no chance of passage and that it was quite clear the county was not intending to implement vaccine passports.
“Basically, like a snowflake in the Sahara, it's not going anywhere and so this board's support of it is fairly meaningless,” said Bruce Gibson, SLO County District 2 Supervisor.
Despite that, an overwhelming outpouring of public comment from the community was heard during Tuesday's meeting.
“I am calling in support of AB 327. I believe medical privacy is just a basic human right," said Maren Brajkovich, SLO County resident.
The volume of calls prompted supervisors to close live public comment and move forward with the motion. The remaining calls would go into the public record.