COVID Vaccine Passports: A Threat to Civil Freedoms and Rights or the Best Way To Prevent Another Lockdown?

COVID Vaccine Passport

Experts argue COVID passes could stop another lockdown or pose threats such as segregation and ongoing surveillance.

Covid passes and vaccine passports may promise the ideal solution to avoiding further lockdowns in the UK or pose a threat to people’s freedoms and right to privacy, experts argue in a debate published by The BMJ today (November 3, 2021).

Experts whose institutions have carried out research into the impact of using such tools to try and prevent the spread of the coronavirus have different opinions about whether or not they are a valid alternative to lockdown.

In the debate, the authors distinguish between a ‘vaccine passport’ which is a document or app showing evidence of vaccination status only; and a ‘covid pass’ which is a document or app showing evidence that a person has either a lower risk covid status based on their vaccination record, a recent negative lateral flow or PCR test, or a positive antibody test showing they had the infection before and have some level of immunity.

Researchers from the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change in London argue that covid passes are a useful tool to enable people to prove that they are either fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, have immunity from a previous infection, or have recently tested negative for covid-19.

If people are asked to prove their health status before entering a crowded or enclosed environment, this can potentially reduce the risk of covid being spread.

Kirsty Innes and Daniel Sleat from the Institute highlight the government’s Events Research Programme pilot which had provided optimism that tools such as a covid pass would help limit transmission at mass events.

In the first phase of that program, only 28 cases of covid-19 had been detected in 7,764 participants who completed the full testing requirements.

The Institute carried out an analysis based on a June 2021 model of the virus’s spread, created by researchers at Read More

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