You Probably Already Have Some Kind of Passport Vaccine

On Monday, the television personality Dr. Drew he tweeted his opposition to COVID-19 vaccinated passports, saying, “These vaccinated passports segregate people and deprive them of their freedom to travel internationally. Vaccinations are important, and I encourage everyone to get the Covid vaccine, but how would you feel if international travel needed it too?” other vaccinations? “

Tuesday, he walked back – but to thousands of people on Twitter, it seemed like a good question.

It is not.

While vaccination passports have emerged as the ultimate point of flammability in COVID-19 pandemic, most people already have some form of documentation that verifies that they have been vaccinated against certain diseases. And many public health experts say such tests will be key to returning to normal life while preventing future outbreaks of COVID-19.

“People have been suffering for more than a year, and they want their lives,” Lawrence Gostin, a professor of global health law at Georgetown University, told BuzzFeed News. “They want to go to restaurants, watch movies, travel to see their loved ones, and return to work.” Vaccinated passports offer a way for a faster and safer return to normal life. ”

As vaccines become more widely distributed, the prospect of COVID-19 vaccine passports becomes a reality for many people. The European Union is likely to launch in June. Israel, which one guide and major nations in the vaccines administered so far, he has already introduced one. China also has one. The UK is under discussion its own version. New York State has introduced a volunteer. ”Excelsior Pass“Which shows proof of vaccination or a negative test for access to sporting events, music venues, and businesses. At least eight major companies they are working on a version of a coronavirus passport, as it is Walmart.

More than 64 million people, or nearly 1 in 5 Americans, have been completely vaccinated against COVID-19 to date.

But the federal government – understood Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases – has now made clear it will not lead to efforts to produce a national vaccination passport. Instead, it is working for corral and more than a dozen versions developed in the private sector.

Many Republican leaders have opposed such measures, suggesting they would constitute a government expansion. Friday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed an executive order prohibits the use of COVID-19 vaccination passports in the state. On Sunday, Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves he told CNN that he is also opposed. Tuesday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott united in.

“The passport is a good idea,” Howard Markel, a pediatrician and medical historian, told BuzzFeed News. “How it has become politicized is very disturbing and difficult to understand in public health.”

This cleanup has had a real impact. A recent survey found it only 50% of American residents would support a voluntary document verifying vaccination.

The debate in the United States is in many ways a resurgence of those around us closed and contact trace. Should people in the United States accept restrictions on their personal freedom in the name of public health? They will be these temporary measures remain around long after they are needed? Will people’s privacy be protected? But the idea of ​​vaccination passports is nothing new: the United States already has a patchwork of private and public entities requiring people to prove they have been vaccinated.

“We already keep vaccination records in our medical records. Schools have children’s records. Many hospitals keep them for their staff. These must be familiar,” Gostin said.

To travel internationally, many people already have to prove that they have been vaccinated. To enter the United States, immigrants must provide a vaccination record against diseases – 14 in all – including hepatitis A and B, two types of influenza, polio and chickenpox. The records are kept in a booklet issued by the World Health Organization. And the US Armed Forces, which sends its members around the world, requires about a dozen vaccinations depending on where a person is placed.

Vaccination testing is also necessary to get children to school in all 50 states. In Florida, where DeSantis is governor, children in kindergarten through 12th grade are required to be vaccinated against you are sick. California and Texas each requires seven. Since immunization requirements for schools are addressed at the state level – there is no federal mandateseveral states allow it personal belief or religious exemptions for opt-out parents. California is among the states that have eliminated such exemptions since dangerous fire of measles which began at Disneyland in 2015 has touched the state.

Until there were vaccines, public health officials asked people to prove they had received them. As historian Jordan E. Taylor wrote in Time magazine, beginning in the 19th century, U.S. authorities ordered people to show that they had been vaccinated against chickenpox. Immigration officers have requested a vaccination test on Ellis Island in New York and Angel Island in San Francisco. Companies sent him as a condition of employment. And during local outbreaks, police would ask people to show they had been vaccinated.

There are real concerns about vaccine passports. Some people worry about theirs digital rights o invasion of privacy. But Gostin, which co-authored an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association about possible ethical issues, he said the vaccine passports contained very little information. “In many ways vaccine passports protect your privacy. They don’t ask you to disclose any information, except whether you have a vaccine or not,” he wrote.

Others raise doubts about the fairness of requiring a vaccination test in the United States, as of now Black and Latinx communities they were vaccinated at disproportionately low rates. Experts take this seriously, but have suggested that those concerns will diminish as vaccines become more available.

“Equity cannot be a reflection,” Gostin said. “We can’t have passports while there is a shortage of vaccines. Within a month or two, vaccines will kill people, not the other way around. Everyone will have a good shot at getting them.”

Public health experts have emphasized that it is understandable if people do not feel safe from vaccine passports and has encouraged them to talk to their healthcare providers if they have any questions.

“My advice is to consult your doctor or WHO or CDC websites,” Markel said. “Have a good conversation with your doctor.” We don’t want to intimidate people. “

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