Written by Monica Yelinyan
Vaccination passport, is that a new stage in the new normal? Several countries are considering establishing a vaccination passport. Similarly, this is something that the European Union is also engaged with. For example, European Commission will introduce a bill regarding a "Digital Green Pass". The purpose of vaccination is as Ursula von der Leyen, European Commission President tweeted: "The aim is to gradually enable them to move safely in the European Union or abroad - for work or tourism." This could mean that before a citizen can get on a plane, he has to show his vaccination passport. The vaccination passport should then state that he has been vaccinated against COVID-19. Is this really necessary?
Now that a year has passed and we have more knowledge about COVID-19, it seems that especially the elderly with underlying complaints will be affected by COVID-19. Moreover, it appears that COVID-19 is not as dangerous as thought in the beginning of the outbreak.
For many, a vaccination is not necessary as they had the virus or will not be affected much by it. Furthermore, it is also important to note that COVID-19 is a virus. This means that the virus can mutate as we have seen with now several COVID-19 mutations. This would mean that one would need to be vaccinated more often. And that the vaccination will not work for some mutations and also for mutations that are not yet known. Which would make the purpose of vaccination passport unachievable. Also, the goal would not be achievable because even though one is vaccinated, he can still get COVID-19 and thus spread it.
A major consequence of a vaccination passport is that citizens will no longer have complete freedom to determine what will happen to their own bodies. It is their body, and it should also be their own choice whether or not they want to take the vaccination. By introducing a vaccination passport, a large part of the citizens' freedom of choice is taken away.
The degree of freedom of a citizen is then linked to his health. There are also people who cannot get a vaccination due to medical reasons. They could be unfairly excluded from society and normal life. Of course, this also applies to people who do not want to take the vaccination because of religious reasons and there are also many people who do not want to take the vaccination or already have the antibodies. It is also the case that there are still not enough vaccinations for everyone.
The Commission has said it would seek to avoid discrimination against individuals who have not received the vaccine. For instance, the Green Pass could also be validated with a recent negative test. So why introduce a vaccination passport if a negative test is sufficient?
One of the consequences of a vaccination passport is clear. It will ensure that a citizen's degree of freedom will be tied to his health. Those who will not take the vaccination will become second class citizens.
Is that a worthy price to pay for being allowed to travel?