Professor Julian Savulescu, director of the Wellcome Centre for Ethics and Humanities at Oxford University claims it is unethical not to offer immunity passports, adding vaccination passports could be seen as a means of mandatory vaccination.
He said: “Vaccination passports–after vaccines have been made available–can be seen as a mild form of “mandatory vaccination”.
“Proof of vaccination could be a requirement to, for example, access certain places (e.g. restaurants, hospitals, public transport, etc, depending on how restrictive we want the mandate to be) or engaging in certain social activities (e.g. mixing with people from different households) or enable health care or other care workers to not self-isolate if in contact with a person with Covid (there were 35 000 NHS workers in isolation at the peak of the pandemic because of contact). It is worth noting that this kind of measure has already been in place globally for a long time in a more selective way, e.g. in the US where, in most states, children cannot be enrolled in schools unless they are up to date with certain vaccinations.
“These are also a form of “vaccination passports”, which simply do not use that term. Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificates are required to travel to certain parts of the world where Yellow Fever is endemic.”
He added: “Thus, the strongest argument against vaccination passports is that there is something people can choose to do to lower their own risk: get vaccinated.
“This is what makes the strongest case against vaccination passports stronger than the strongest case against immunity passports (which could be obtained after immunity is mounted through natural infection): the choice to reduce their personal risk by vaccination is more reasonable and safer than the choice to get voluntarily infected in order to acquire immunity.
“The ethical ground for restriction of liberty is a person who represents a threat of harm to others.
“That is the grounds for lockdown, quarantine, isolation or mandating vaccination is to reduce the risk one person poses to another.
“However, if a person is no longer a threat to others, the justification for coercion evaporates. “If either natural immunity or a vaccine prevents virus transmission to others (and this remains to be determined), the grounds for restricting liberty disappear.
“This is one argument for an immunity or vaccination passport – it proves you are not a threat to others.”
Published at Wed, 09 Dec 2020 11:20:00 +0000