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Let’s Talk Vaccine Passports • We Blog The World

Let’s Talk Vaccine Passports • Tour Travel Hotels

There’s so much information out there that it’s no wonder people’s minds are spinning – a vaccine passport or not? To get vaccinated or not? The list goes on.

In theory, I strongly support the idea of ​​vaccine passports. Vaccines are our only way out of the coronavirus pandemic; we need to encourage their adoption in every way possible.

This is particularly relevant to the travel industry, which has been crippled by the zero risk fantasy that many executives have sold to their populations. A requirement (at least in the short term) that anyone entering a given country must be immune to Covid-19 may spur some of these cowardly tyrants to restore freedom of movement.

Unfortunately, real life is more complicated than theoretical projections – in this case, maybe not for the reasons you assume. Read on for the sober reality of the near-term future of travel, as well as how (and when) I think we can all make the globe again.

Why I support vaccine passports (at least in theory)

Generally speaking, I think freedom is an all or nothing proposition. Sadly, the leaders we all made the mistake of electing in the early days have pushed this equation all the way in the direction of “nothing”, at least when it comes to freedom of movement. Allowing vaccinated travelers to bypass entry bans and short-term quarantines could serve as a bridge to normalization in the medium and long term, that is, when vaccinations will finally bring the pandemic under control.

Let me say it even more clearly: vaccine passports should be temporary. Their scope should also be limited to unlocking international travel and possibly allowing people to enter settings where high-risk people reside, such as nursing homes and hospitals. I am not in favor of using vaccine passports to travel within countries, nor to participate in daily activities such as shopping, eating, and going to concerts or other events.

5 major problems with travel vaccine passports

Few countries will commit to accepting them

If every country agreed to allow fully vaccinated people to cross their borders without quarantine, vaccine passports would enjoy a level of support approaching 100%. However, given that only a few countries in the world (Iceland in particular) have accepted this compromise, even pro-vaccine travelers are skeptical and do not support the concept.

The message was terrible

Lack of adherence to the vaccine passport on the part of national governments has created a chicken and egg snowball that will be difficult to overcome, unless the course is corrected immediately. This reflects the nonsense launched by health bureaucrats such as Dr Anthony Fauci of the United States, who has hinted that being fully vaccinated will not restore any of your freedoms.

The infrastructure is still not there

Although a large number of countries wanted to admit vaccinated travelers tomorrow, systems for verifying vaccination status are poorly developed, where they exist. Private solutions like CommonPass and IATA Travel Pass aim to address this problem, but the aforementioned reluctance from governments makes them mostly unnecessary.

Not all vaccines are created equal

Another problem with vaccine passports? Some vaccines are more protective than others. Or, in the case of jabs made in China, they might not be really protective at all. While it seems wise to require travelers to get high-quality vaccines such as those from Pfizer, which real-world data has shown prevent transmission, it adds yet another layer of complication to the disease. whole system.

Too many governments stay in a zero risk mindset

In mid-April 2021, Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt shocked the world by declaring that the country’s borders could remain closed even after all Australians are vaccinated – in other words, forever. While many leaders are at least marginally more pragmatic than that, dozens of countries continue to peddle some version of the unsustainable ‘Zero Covid’ fantasy.

How (and when) will international travel restart?

By analyzing both the medical and political realities of Covid-19 for over a year, I determined that two main obstacles stood in the way of resuming international mobility. Politically, leaders must redefine the expectations of their citizens away from pipe dreams of eradication or elimination (which almost all scientists agree is not possible), and towards risk / harm minimization. The medical trajectory of the pandemic will soon prove that this is the right political approach.

As mass vaccination slows the spread of SARS-CoV-2 to a crawl, the vaccine-induced protection of vulnerable populations from serious illness and death will defuse the virus, reducing it to a seasonal event comparable to the flu or colds. This confluence will take several years to manifest, however, which is why the authorities involved in vaccine passports should pull themselves together, lest any of us travel overseas again until the middle of the decade.

Other FAQ on vaccine passports

Is a vaccine necessary to fly?

While some airlines (notably Qantas) have hinted that proof of Covid-19 vaccination may possibly be required to board their aircraft, no airline yet requires passengers to present a vaccination passport to fly. . Please note that most airlines still require adherence to safety protocols such as masking, hand hygiene, and social distancing where possible.

What if I don’t want the Covid-19 vaccine?

Covid-19 vaccines are not mandatory for the vast majority of people, no matter where you live. However, not receiving the Covid-19 vaccine may put you at risk of developing serious illness or dying from the illness, especially if you are in a high-risk population. I encourage you to direct questions about vaccines to your doctor or other licensed healthcare professional.

Are you immune to Covid after the vaccine?

Non-Chinese Covid-19 vaccines protect against serious illness and death in almost 100% of cases. Protection against asymptomatic disease and disease transmission, however, varies from about 60-70% with AstraZeneca and J&J injections, to rates above 90% with mRNA injections from Moderna and Pfizer.

The bottom line

Vaccine passports have the potential to unlock travel in a major way. However, due to mixed messages about their scope and intent, and cowardice from national leaders, members of the general public have become skeptical of the idea to a degree that may be terminal. The implications for the travel industry (and, of course, for travelers) are dire, as freedom of movement remains almost completely suspended, despite the fact that nearly a billion doses of the vaccine have been administered worldwide. . While I believe international mobility will eventually return to where it was, the apparent failure of vaccine passports will significantly delay our return to normal.

Robert schrader

Robert Schrader is a travel writer and photographer who has traveled the world independently since 2005, writing for publications such as “CNNGo” and “Shanghaiist” along the way. His blog, Leave Your Daily Hell, offers a mix of travel tips, destination guides and personal essays covering the more esoteric aspects of life as a traveler.

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