April 28, 2021

What’s a Vax Passport All About?

What’s a Vax Passport All About?

Flights are being booked. Hotels scouted… dreams of a tropical paradise or concert turned into a reality. Activities deferred due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

But as people yearn to return to normal, one item they may need to pack even if it comes with  controversy-- their vaccine passport. Just don’t call it that. 

It turns out, the term ‘passport’ is seen by both sides of the aisle as more restrictive than a ‘vaccine certificate.’

“I think the term vaccine passport kind of pushes every partisan political button for those on the conservative right. It went in a poll that we just conducted, 47% of Republicans oppose the idea of a vaccine passport compared to only 10% of Democrats,” Brian C. Castrucci, DrPH, MA the President & CEO for the de Beaumont Foundation said in this week’s episode of Track the Vax.

Even as vaccines like one’s for yellow-fever are mandated by nations for entry, and some work on bilateral agreements to ensure a shorter quarantine if you are vaccinated, in the U.S. the issue continues to pull at political threads.

As dozens of companies move forward to develop their own digital pass, we explore in this week’s episode what that can look like and how the user could maintain control.

“It feels to me very different to have an airline or a border authority ask for proof of vaccination or proof of testing in order for me to get on a plane and for me to travel internationally than it does for the grocery store to ask every single person who enters the grocery store to provide proof of vaccination,” Dakota Gruener theExecutive Director,ID2020 a nonprofit group that’s working on digital identification and is part of the Collaborative Health Pass.

Some states have moved forward with executive orders to ban them as other’s work on ways to implement a vaccine certificate state-wide that can get you into everything from restaurants to sporting events. How will the inter-state disagreements play out on a national scale?

“I think COVID-19 vaccination right now should be a new vital sign. What's your height? What's your weight?  Do you plan to take a COVID vaccine? Do you smoke?” 

 “It should be right in there for every practicing physician, endocrinologists, cardiologists, primary care physicians, no matter who you are asking that question.  And if people say no, take that opportunity to actually have a conversation about why they might not want to take the vaccine.”

“That's the challenge,” Castrucci explains. “Now in Florida, the governor has passed and signed an executive order that said there'll be no vaccine passport at all in the state. And so his reaction to government overreach from the federal government was to practice government overreach at a state level. And so this is why our continued debate, making this a political debate is challenging to public health.”

In this episode ofTrack the Vaxyou’ll also learn:

  • How a covid vaccine certificate can work if you don’t have a smart-phone
  • What the role of the federal government will likely be in the use of certificates.
  • Why the term ‘passport’ is a political hot-potato. 

Listen along with us on: Apple Podcasts,Spotify, or wherever you listen