The fact that the world over, vaccination has been ramped up opens up the opportunity for an average Joe to resume travel inside and outside one’s own country. Finding the fine line of agreement between the individual and the collective with respect to be confident and informed about the safety of the environment one steps out to during COVID-19 is a major bone of contention. This is also where the government often finds them at odds with the citizens.
Take the case of Canada. This is a country, the government of which is cajoling the idea of introducing vaccine passport (I.e., COVID-19 vaccination certificate). They are also known as immunity passports, which are paper or electronic documents that prove that the holder has got himself/herself vaccinated against the COVID-19.
The proposal of using the vaccine passport as a mandatory travel document is still debated. Looking at the recent study done by Leger360 exposes how this plan for a COVID-19 vaccination certificate is accepted by people in Canada. Here are some important points.
- 61% of Canadians supported their government in implementing a proof of vaccination as a means to participate in public gatherings.
- 64% of Canadians supported the government in making a vaccine passport mandatory for attending public gatherings.
- 79% of Canadians who responded to the survey supported the need for vaccine passports for them to travel between Canadian provinces or to and from other countries.
- 82% of Canadians are in favor of making it mandatory for non-Canadians to enter Canada to show some proof of immunity to COVID-19.
There is no dearth of non-Canadians who wish to migrate to Canada. Even US citizens are eager to see the US-Canada border open. But when the same kind of survey is tried on Americans, the results reveal that they are far less willing to support the idea of implementing vaccine passports. It has gone to the extent that many US states have banned the usage of such a document of proof.
It’s one thing that the vaccines are proving their effectiveness all over the world. But the real concern in most countries is not so much whether enough vaccines will reach those who want them, but rather when they will receive the shots.
The vaccine passports will possibly encourage people who are otherwise unwilling to take the vaccine to get vaccinated. The current projected requirement for a vaccination certificate is not a new thing though. Many countries need the traveler to produce proof of immunization against diseases like yellow fever and malaria.
The downsides of the vaccination passport
- Privacy concerns that the passport will disclose personal information of people that could be used for matters that are beyond the scope of vaccination.
- Forging of vaccination passport may happen.
- Citizens in poorer countries could be at a disadvantage compared to wealthier nations that have an upper hand at the production and procurement of vaccines. People of poorer countries may thus face the inability to procure vaccine passports and hence won’t be able to travel.
It’s yet to see how the world governments including Canada will go about implementing the vaccination certificate in the form of a COVID-19 vaccine passport. The decisions in this regard taken by Canada’s provinces and territories will be worth keeping track of.
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