Vaccine passports needed to end pandemic

The latest piece of news to come out of the emerging post-pandemic landscape is a new call by the Biden administration to administer “vaccine passports,” which would allow travel systems to check passengers through a new card showing their vaccination status. While many people agree with this idea, some are now arguing that it is discriminatory toward groups who cannot, or will not, get the vaccination. 

The United States is not the only country planning on this new passport; the European Union has also released plans for vaccine passports as well. The vaccine passport would be free and easily accessible through smartphones for interested citizens. 

Currently, 22.6 percent of the country’s population is fully vaccinated. As more and more people continue to elect for vaccinations, the possibility of these travel vouchers increases. There are 17 companies currently interested in launching these passports, according to the Biden administration. 

Vaccinations are becoming more available, but many are now arguing that requiring vaccination for travel would discriminate against those in a lower income area who are unable to get access to the vaccine. While this is true and most definitely an issue, I believe that vaccine passports are ultimately necessary if the world wants to return to any sort of normalcy. 

In all likelihood, the vaccine passports will not become required or even available for a little while, which will allow the US time under the Biden administration to continue vaccinating it’s citizens. If international or even state-to-state travel is a priority, then getting vaccinated should be as well.
The reality is that requiring vaccines for travel is not a new idea, and it’s one that the world will continue to utilize to ensure people’s safety. In school, we are required to be vaccinated with certain vaccines in order to protect the larger population; this should be no different. 

But I also think it’s important to recognize that economic inequality still exists, and low income areas are unproportionally affected by the pandemic. Before we require vaccine passports, it’s equally necessary to reach out to those areas and provide free vaccine clinics wherever possible. Once a majority of the United States has been vaccinated, it will be important that we take steps to make sure the pandemic does not resurge. This will be achieved through national vaccinations and requiring vaccine passports. 

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