As the country moves closer to herd immunity, the new debate is whether vaccine passports should be mandated. There is a lot of pushback from many, and a recent Enterprise online survey shows that nearly 70% of those responding were opposed to a mandate.
While we’re in agreement that the government should not mandate a “passport,” a vaccine verification makes sense in some situations. The government is already mandating a COVID test to return to the U.S. after international travel. It would make sense for the traveler and the airlines to have an option to show a vaccine verification to avoid this requirement.
The state of Alaska, until recently had required a negative COVID test to even set foot in their state. If a traveler arrived at the airport without their negative test, they were required to take a test and pay a $250 charge per person. So, if you showed up with a family of four, you’re out $1,000. If a COVID verification could be substituted, it’d just be a matter of showing your vaccination card, and you’d be free to grab your luggage and be on your way.
Another argument against the passport idea is that it’s intrusive to a person's medical privacy. That’s true to a point, but what’s more intrusive than having someone stick a cotton swab up your nose until your eyes tear up, then waiting anxiously for your negative test before you can board an airplane to come back home.
The COVID verification, should absolutely be a choice. Some cruise lines are requiring proof of vaccination before being allowed on board their ships. A traveler has a choice in this case, too. They can choose to say no way to a COVID verification, and not go on the cruise. Or show them a vaccination card, and go enjoy the high seas.
A business owner should have the right to require a vaccination. For example, a theatre owner could decide to enforce a vaccination requirement for people to enjoy a movie at their theatre. Again, it’s the choice or any person to show their card, or they can choose to stay home and watch a movie on their couch.
How about sporting events? Same opportunity there. Show the card, and you’re welcome to come on in and cheer on your team. Or, show your negative COVID test. If those are the options, or the stadiums stay at 25% capacity, it seems filling the stadium would be best.
There are many other examples where a COVID verification would make sense. But, in all cases it should be a choice. People should still be allowed to travel, attend events, etc., but a vaccination would make it easier for everyone.
It also seems it would be more of an incentive to people to get a vaccine if there were some additional benefits in their lives. Right now, everyone who gets the vaccine is doing it to avoid COVID. And that makes a lot of sense. But it would give people even more reason if it eased them back into a normal life a little faster. Maybe it could even mean that those who are vaccinated could begin living their life without a mask.