Good Question: Can you clear up Excelsior Pass app confusion? | WHEC.com

Good Question: Can you clear up Excelsior Pass app confusion?

Brennan Somers
Created: July 14, 2021 06:06 AM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) —  There's some confusion over New York’s Excelsior Pass.

We're going to address two things here-- Do you even need these passes anymore? What's with the expiration dates on them? You could argue the Excelsior Pass app really doesn't serve a useful, day-to-day purpose anymore.

Restrictions are gone. Businesses aren't asking for proof you're vaccinated and you don't have to show anything with your vaccine status to get in outdoor stadiums like Frontier Field for Red Wings games. The outlier to these changes are large-scale indoor venues like Madison Square Garden that want to run at 100% capacity.

Just this week viewers sent News10NBC’s Brennan Somers Good Questions about the app saying: On my Excelsior Pass it says my vaccine expires in November. Does this mean I'm not vaccinated anymore? Do I need a booster at that time? 

Another GQ: My pass shows it expires on 9/24/2021. My 13-year-old grandson just got his pass and it expires 6/25/2022. I was wondering why there is a difference.

If you have a pass with the date printed on it remember that has nothing to do with how long we'll have protection from the vaccines.

NYS officials say "The duration of validity of Excelsior Vaccination Passes may continue to be updated to reflect the latest understanding from federal and state health experts and as additional science and trial data is released."

The "expires" date has already changed. It used to be 180 days from your last shot. Then, back on May 22, the state upped that timeline to a full year since your last dose.

If you're like Somers and got a pass before the change, you need a new one.

You can delete the old version and go back through the step-by-step process for the update. Somers did that and his is correct now. It’s good for 365 days. However, other than just for your own record keeping, the pass app really doesn't do a lot for you now because no one is asking for it.

What’s this costing taxpayers thinking it's just throwing away money?

We were told to start this deal costs $2.5 million with a contract between NY and IBM. Then, the New York Times put out a report last month saying the contract could actually cost close to $17 million. The Times report stated talks are underway on using the technology to store driver's license information, additional health info, and more uses.

A spokesperson for the state budget office told the paper the $2.5 million figure is just what has already been spent and "Like many state contracts, this contract includes options that the state may or may not undertake, including additional budget capacity that may not be needed."

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Watch previous Good Question segments here. If you have a question you'd like answered, email GoodQuestion@whec.com.


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