The Big Question: Will Vaccine Passports Fly?


Vaccination may be a pass to certain activities—but what about actual vaccine passports?
 
Israel has already embraced a green pass for the vaccinated. And the European Union is floating the idea.
 
But WHO isn’t behind vaccine passports, citing glaring vaccination equity issues that could effectively create a class system of vaccine haves and have-nots, CNN reports.
 
We asked GHN readers: Should vaccine passports be issued to those who’ve had all their doses?

We received a wide range of responses from around the world. 

Here's a sampling:

 


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“I live in South Africa  where negative Coronavirus tests were used for border crossing and within weeks there were so many fake ones, it was hard to tell.

How is the EU going to ensure that the vaccine passports are valid? My biggest problem is that it could create a false sense of security.

Also, if you think of it more broadly, some vaccines are not as effective against the variants. Are you going to have to develop a multisystem?

So many variances would create a logistical nightmare and a false sense of security. Apart from all the "clean" vs. "unclean" stigma.

I am someone who traveled abroad every year and yes, I am missing it, but come on, let's be real here.”—Leonise van Reenen


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“In my opinion, vaccine passports should not be given out. There is already so much vaccine hesitancy stemming from people who believe that "governments are controlling us via vaccines and will try to make vaccines mandatory before flights/etc.

I think announcing this vaccine passport would only incite more anger/pushback from these people and would negatively impact our goal of vaccinating as many people as possible.” —Mindy Tran, B.S. Global Health, University of Southern California


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"It is a great idea. This will only apply for those going on international travel avoiding the cost of tests & quarantine. It is very simple. Link to your passport. Provide vaccination history of the individual from authorities with evidence & passport details included. In the UK this can be easily done through general practices."Padmanabhan Badrinath, Consultant in Public Health Medicine, England


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“Absolutely not. It is against everything our constitution guarantees! If we are not free to choose to vaccinate or not then we are not free!” —Antonia Lhamo


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“Perhaps for those who need to travel out of country, vaccination proof will be needed, just as COVID-19 tests are required between African nations (most of the tests are defective and costs are high).” —Jean C. Sack


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“Introduction of vaccine passports before accomplishing widespread distribution and administration of vaccines will develop new disparities in an already troubled world. This could prevent many from travel merely because they belong to a region which has not yet received their doses due to geographical, economical, political or cultural reasons.  We could still regulate safe travel by testing procedures, providing certain exemptions for vaccinated individuals etc. This pandemic proved the need for unity and vaccine passports may not be the way to achieve this.  

They might still 'Fly' since we are all eagerly waiting to get back to 'normal'. Individuals and businesses might sort this out for the ease expected to be brought by it. International or domestic travel levels could be restored as prior to the pandemic once enough nations adopt such measures.” —Sherin John


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“I do not believe that vaccine passports should even be considered. That is only going to deepen existing divisions and will increase discrimination against those who do not have the vaccine because they still do not have access to it, like most of the global south, or those who do not want to get it, like many parts of the U. S. and conservative Europe. There is absolutely no need to equalize normal with traveling, dining out, or going out.” —Gonzalo Claure


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“Of course. How else will we be able to travel internationally, go to a basketball game etc..... 

What is amazing to me is that this passport system isn’t already set up! Do we have to wait for steps 1-5 to be completed before starting on step 6?” —Richard Lawrence, Chairman High Tide Foundation


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“Yes, vaccine passports should be issued, especially given the challenges of getting a negative test within a prescribed “window.” For some of us in global health, we can see our window disappear on the basis of one delayed flight.”— Margaret C. McDonald, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh

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