England Ditches COVID Vaccine Passport Plan

Image By JessicaGirvan via Shutterstock

In Brief

  • The Facts:
    • UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid has announced that the England will not introduce a domestic vaccine passport.

    • This is a sharp U turn from the government on the issue, yet one that provides more freedom to the public.

    • 90% of the UK population aged 16+ have received one dose of a COVID vaccine, and over 80 percent have received two doses.

  • Reflect On:
    • Is there a logical pathway that suggests vaccine passports will stop COVID-19?

    • Are we seeing enough opposition to aggressive measures such as vaccine passports that plans are falling apart?

    • Are vaccine passports being used simply as a means of coercion?

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England had plans to introduce vaccine passports for nightclubs and crowded events in England, but UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid has now said this will no longer be happening.

Javid recently stated he “never liked the idea” of forcing people to present their papers during everyday activities, but believed in the idea that government should look into the prospect then decide.

As with many countries, many lawmakers across the political spectrum in Britain strongly opposed vaccine passports given the two tiered society they create, as well as the loss of human rights that come with them.

“What I can say is that we’ve looked at it properly and whilst we should keep it in reserve as a potential option, I’m pleased to say that we will not be going ahead with plans for vaccine passports,” 

UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid

Worth mentioning is that Britain is in a bit of a different position than other countries like the US for example. As of Sept. 9, almost 90 percent of the UK population aged 16+ have received one dose of a vaccine, and over 80 percent have received two doses. Other countries don’t have uptake as high, and have thus turned to coercion to increase vaccine rates.

Given uptake numbers are so high in the UK, the health secretary stated the UK government should not introduce a passport simply because other governments are doing it, as they might be doing it for different reasons.

“So many countries, at the time they implemented it, was to try and boost their vaccination rates and you can understand why they might have done that,”

UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid

In contrast, Canada’s numbers are similar to that of the UK’s, where 84.4 percent of people 12+ have at least one shot, and 78 percent of 12+ are fully vaccinated, yet Canada’s Justin Trudeau is still rushing ahead with vaccine passports, perhaps suggesting a more authoritarian culture in their administration when comparing to the UK government.

According to Javid, England has been “very successful” with its vaccination rates, with 55 percent of 16- to 17- year-olds receiving their first dose just one month after the age group was eligible.

During an interview on The Andrew Marr show, Javid also stated that he wanted to “get rid” of PCR tests for travel and that he was “not anticipating” any more lockdowns, although it would be “irresponsible to take everything off the table”

Further good news for UK residents seeking more freedom, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to repeal some powers from the Coronavirus Act, relinquishing the governments power to shut down the economy, apply draconian restrictions to events and gatherings, disrupt education, or detain infectious people.

Given the health secretary’s statements, one might wonder whether vaccine passports are merely a tool of coercion, especially given there is no logical pathway that suggests vaccine passports will stop COVID when the vaccinated themselves can still get COVID and transmit it.

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