For a weary public longing to get back to normalcy, vaccine passports represent a tantalizing carrot, being dangled as a mechanism for freedom. By showing proof that you’ve received a COVID-19 vaccine, perhaps you can once again board an airplane and travel freely, attend a concert or enjoy a meal in your favorite restaurant, just like you used to.
Except, being required to present your “papers” in order to live your life isn’t actually freedom at all — it’s discrimination, and even a move toward technocratic fascism, one that’s setting the stage for increased surveillance and erosion of all of our privacy.
While vaccine passports are starting out with the COVID-19 vaccine for international travel, it’s setting a precedent for expansion that can be extended to other vaccines and medical information, and then to domestic travel and even leaving your house, as the passports will be carried on your phone that has location-tracking abilities.
Some additional reasons why “vaccine passports” must be stopped with legislation prohibiting them now and in the future:
The availability of effective vaccines means that those most vulnerable to covid-19, and soon anyone who wants and is medically eligible for a vaccine, will have a high level of protection from the virus. This means hospitalizations and deaths associated with the virus will drastically fall and overbearing controls on society cannot be justified.
This means those who are vaccinated will be at a very low risk of becoming ill from Covid-19.
Aside from the severe inequality and rights issues, it would make no sense to exclude unvaccinated people from public life as it is currently thought that both vaccinated and unvaccinated people can transmit the virus. There is no conclusive evidence yet as to how the vaccines affect transmissibility of the virus.
For this reason, the WHO does not even advise on Covid-19 vaccine requirements for international travel at this time.
The effect of covid passports would be to socially and economically exclude people without a covid vaccine or recent test result, and deny them basic freedoms. In doing so, some of the most marginalized in society would suffer discrimination.
Young people would be discriminated against, since there will be lower and slower vaccine uptake as young people are both generally at a low risk of serious illness from the virus and last in line to be offered a vaccination; meanwhile, children are still not eligible for vaccines as trials are ongoing. Further, if vaccines are required annually/periodically, young people could be discriminated against on a cycle as they will always be last in line to receive vaccines. Disabled people could be discriminated against as some medical conditions will prevent individuals from being able to receive a vaccination; Pregnant women would be discriminated against, as covid vaccines are not routinely advised for them and whilst clinical trials are ongoing, women may be cautious about vaccines whilst pregnant, breastfeeding or trying to conceive; Some people with religious or other beliefs may be discriminated against, if those beliefs deter them from receiving a vaccine.
Research from across Europe shows that compelling people to take vaccines does not necessarily result in higher uptake of vaccines. Further, statistics show that the UK (which does not mandate vaccines) has some of the most positive attitudes towards vaccines across Europe, and that the top 5 European nations for positive attitudes towards vaccinations all have voluntary vaccination policies. The European nations with the most negative attitudes towards vaccinations include those with mandatory vaccination policies: Hungary, Slovakia and Croatia.
In fact, coercing people to have vaccines can be counter-productive if it lowers trust and raises suspicions.
- CHECKPOINT SOCIETY
The US has a proud history of opposition to ID cards. We are not a papers-carrying country. But vaccine passes would turn us into a two-tier, checkpoint society where we each have to show an app or certificate simply in order to enjoy public life. This would be a serious break from our long-guarded democratic traditions and would disadvantage marginalized people.
- SURVEILLANCE STATE
The combination of apps with sensitive health data and the subversion of everyday businesses and events into checkpoints could constitute the biggest expansion of the surveillance state ever seen in America.
Many of the covid pass proposals would rely on facial recognition on an app. Once the population had been forced to accept this, it would not be too long before facial recognition checks came off our phones – after all, not everyone has a smart phone – and onto facial recognition cameras at so-called “seamless” checkpoints.
- MISSION CREEP
Vaccine passports would likely begin with limitations meaning they could only be used for covid-19 – but after the huge cost and reorganization of society, this would never last. Vaccine passports would inevitably expand to be used for other purposes. The rationale underpinning the proposal would be applied to other vaccines, seasonal influenza and other health issues – and potentially much more. It is quite possible that biological risk scores could expand and morph over time.
It is also likely that the first proposals for vaccine passports will claim to be time-limited – but this would never last. If we accept covid passes, we will never be able to get rid of digital health passes. Almost every promise about ‘temporary’ covid-19 measures over the past year has been broken as they have endured and expanded. As the saying goes, nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program.
If people accept the claim of authorities that vaccine passes are the only way for us to get our freedom back, taking them away will create insecurity. Similarly, over-bearing airport security theater and many of the excessive counter-terror laws enforced post-9/11 have never been rolled back, but expanded.
This isn’t even as simple as a division between vaccinated and unvaccinated people. As more research emerges about the effectiveness of different vaccines against different coronavirus strains, it is feasible that vaccine passes could be used to put controls on people who received less effective vaccines or who require boosters.
And, it’s not even just about controls from authorities – it’s also about the severely divisive social impact vaccine passports would have. The segregation of vaccinated and unvaccinated people will lead to fear, hatred, and a sense of entitlement among some to be abusive to others who are suspected of being a ‘risk’. A national policy allowing or encouraging such division could severely fuel and exacerbate hostility between social groups.
Bodily autonomy is an important aspect of the right to privacy. Compulsory vaccination, as an involuntary medical treatment, amounts to an interference with the right to a private life (Solomakhin v Ukraine). We believe individuals have the right to make their own choices about their own bodies.
In America there is a long history of judicial opinions that hold a mentally competent adult has the legal right to refuse medical treatment for any reason, even if that refusal will hasten their death. In addition to its common-law origin, the doctrine of informed consent — and the corollary right to refuse medical treatment — is now included in statutory law of many states, particularly including patients’ bill of rights, see, e.g., California Health & Safety Code § 1262.6(a)(3) (enacted 2001).
Adults also have the constitutional right to privacy, which by court rulings has been interpreted to include the right to refuse medical treatments. Adults also have the protections of tort law, in that any unwanted medical procedure is considered an unwanted touch, or even assault or battery.
Vaccine passports would clearly cause people to feel coerced to receive vaccines. They would have a similar effect to mandatory vaccine policies, which are typically imposed by exclusion or penalties for those who decline vaccines. This is illegal, unconstitutional and un-American.
As noted by Jonathan Sumption in his February 15, 2021, Telegraph commentary “…there will always be other epidemics and pandemics.
An epidemic of Ebola, with a death rate of 50%, for example, might qualify for serious temporary restrictions. However, COVID-19 is nowhere near that serious a threat. As noted by Sumption, COVID-19 “is well within the range of perils which we have always had to live with, and always will.”
Data1 show the overall non-institutionalized infection fatality ratio is 0.26% [ie. 99.974% survival rate]. People under the age of 40 have a mere 0.01% risk of dying from the infection [99.99% survival rate]. The vast majority that test positive for SARS-CoV-2 have no symptoms at all, and most do not get seriously ill.
Some of the information in this post is copyright www.mercola.com and https://bigbrotherwatch.org.uk/