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President Biden and Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas in the White House in February. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Department of Homeland Security on Friday said "there will be no federal vaccinations database and no federal mandate requiring everyone to obtain a single vaccination credential.”

Why it matters: Earlier Friday, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas on Friday told ABC's "Good Morning America" that the U.S. is "taking a very close look" at the possibility of requiring vaccine passports for international travel.

  • "We’re taking a very close look at that, you know, one of our principles that has guided us throughout this pandemic is the value of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and making sure that any passport that we provide for vaccinations is accessible to all and that no one is disenfranchised," Mayorkas said.

A DHS spokesperson later on Friday clarified Mayorkas' comments, saying that there will be no "federal mandate" for vaccine passports in the U.S.

  • We’ve always said we’re looking at how we can ensure Americans traveling abroad have a quick and easy way to enter other countries," the spokesperson added.
  • "That’s what the Secretary was referring to; ensuring that all U.S. travelers will be able to easily meet any anticipated foreign country entry requirements."

The big picture: The European Union and some Asian governments are developing coronavirus vaccine passports that people can access using phone apps in order to "help kickstart international travel," AP writes.

Vaccine passports have become a controversial topic in the country, with several Republican-led states banning state government and some private business from requiring them.

  • A recent survey by the COVID States Project revealed that 62% people in the U.S. support government-imposed vaccine mandates, while only 27.5% said they support businesses using vaccine passports.

Go deeper: The barriers to vaccine passports

Editor's note: This story has been updated with the DHS spokesperson's clarification.

Go deeper

May 28, 2021 - World

EU health regulator backs Pfizer COVID vaccine for 12- to 15-year-olds

Photo: Kike Rincon/Europa Press via Getty Images

The European Medicines Agency on Friday recommended the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for children between the ages of 12 and 15.

Why it matters: The decision "offers younger and less at-risk populations across the continent access to a COVID-19 shot for the first time during the pandemic," AP writes.

May 28, 2021 - World

U.K. authorizes Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine

Photo: Jonas Güttler/Picture Alliance via Getty Images

United Kingdom health regulators on Friday authorized the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for people 18 and older.

Why it matters: The J&J is the fourth vaccine to receive approval in the U.K., which has experienced one of the world's best vaccine rollouts. 58% of people in the U.K. have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 36% are fully vaccinated, according to Bloomberg's tracker.

May 28, 2021 - Health

Many COVID-19 vaccine holdouts are still waiting on full FDA approval

Expand chart
Data: Kaiser Family Foundation; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

One of biggest factors to convince many holdouts to get a shot could simply be full FDA approval, according to the latest KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor.

Driving the news: Nearly a third (32%) of unvaccinated adults polled by KFF, including 44% of those identified as being in the "wait and see" group, said they'd be more likely to get a shot it received full approval.

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