Vaccine passports are the new hot topic, with the certificates delivering the potential to return the UK to normality. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s vaccine certification system will allow holders to attend sporting events, concerts and even go clubbing without social distancing.
The move that will soon force UK residents to prove their immunity was labelled ‘divisive and discriminatory’ by 72 MP’s, leading the PM to scrap the scheme for pubs and restaurants.
What is the vaccine passport?
Despite previously condemning vaccine passports, Boris Johnson has instead opted to introduce a coronavirus vaccine certification system, which will force people to prove their immunity status before attending public events or venues. Essentially...it’s a vaccine passport.
Currently, NHS officials are working on an app that can be presented to gain access to sporting events, concerts and other outings by proving one of three things: One, that the person is fully COVID vaccinated. Two, that the person has recently tested negative for coronavirus. Or three, that the holder has recovered from the virus in the past six months, indicating immunity. However, pub and restaurant owners who will open their doors as early as the 12th of April can admit anyone, as long as punters follow existing social distancing and COVID rules.
The new scheme will be announced at 5 pm tonight and will be trialled over nine events in the following weeks. The PM set to announce the complete list of events during the announcement, including the FA Cup Final and the Snooker Championships in Sheffield. The trials’ response will help the PM decide on the best route for reintroducing large scale events and monitor any potential transmissions. Mr Johnson announced:
We are doing everything we can to enable the reopening of our country so people can return to the events, travel and other things they love as safely as possible, and these reviews will play an important role in allowing this to happen.
What are the issues with vaccine passports?
The proposed vaccine passport scheme has gathered much criticism from experts, warning that the app could discriminate and may not be scientifically effective in the long run.
‘No jab, no job’
The Times recently reported that a government source has admitted that companies may demand employees obtain vaccine passports as a condition of employment. While this may protect some businesses from future outbreaks, it may prevent those who are disabled people, pregnant people or those otherwise unable to obtain a jab from earning a job.
When it comes down to the science of the matter, experts are concerned about the vaccines’ longevity and whether or not the vaccines will protect against future new variants. As researchers don’t yet know how long vaccine immunity lasts, it is hard to know precisely how long vaccine passports should be valid. Additionally, nobody can be sure whether or not existing vaccines will protect against future strains of the virus.
Not to mention those who are vaccinated may still be able to pass the virus onto others. This means that those who have been vaccinated may still transmit the virus to others at events that have previously tested negative.