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Syringes with doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, are shown next to vaccination cards, Saturday, March 13, 2021, on the first day of operations at a mass vaccination site at the Lumen Field Events Center in Seattle, which adjoins the field where the NFL football Seattle Seahawks and the MLS soccer Seattle Sounders play their games. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — State or local governments in Indiana will be prohibited from issuing or requiring COVID-19 vaccine passports under a bill approved by state lawmakers.

The Republican-dominated House and Senate voted Thursday by wide margins to approve a wide-ranging health care and insurance bill that included the vaccine passport ban.

Vaccine passports in use or development in other countries are typically a cellphone app with a code that verifies whether someone has been vaccinated or recently tested negative for COVID-19. The Biden administration has ruled out a national vaccine passport, saying it is leaving it to the private sector to develop such a system.

Republicans across the country portray them as a heavy-handed intrusion into personal freedom and private health choices.

Republican Rep. Martin Carbaugh of Fort Wayne said the Indiana ban would protect individual health care information.

Democratic Rep. Ed DeLaney of Indianapolis criticized the ban as chasing the fantasy of something that doesn’t exist.

The Indiana bill doesn’t place any limits on private businesses. It allows government agencies to continue keeping immunization records for public health administration and provide people with their own immunization records.

The bill now goes to Gov. Eric Holcomb for consideration.

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