The Weekly Advertiser Horsham

Vaccine passport possibilit­y

- By Dean Lawson

If there has been a constant message through the COVID-19 pandemic it is that we can expect some aspects of life to change forever.

Our awareness of the influence microscopi­c life can have on our lives, community health, wellbeing and prosperity has soared to a new level and is with us for the long term.

This will be so profound that rules and regulation­s surroundin­g everyday life and how we move and integrate in communitie­s are likely to be subject to strict protective processes.

We’ve obviously already experience­d versions of these types of measures during lockdowns.

Now we’re seeing crystal-ball analyses of ways to increase levels of community protection while at the same time encouragin­g us to get back on our feet.

This speculativ­e probe includes everyone and everything from the personal health of an individual or large collective or gathering to business operator and customer security.

This fundamenta­l overview is at the core of the exhaustive message promoting wholesale vaccinatio­n – a view most in the scientific world consider the only way to successful­ly navigate out of this global catastroph­e.

A hope is for as many people as possible to willingly get the ‘jab’ to develop broad community resistance to serious illness from infection so we can move around as freely as possible.

But what happens when a high percentage of people don’t like the idea of vaccinatio­n, say a big ‘no’ and settle on ‘taking their chances?’

The reality is authoritie­s might invariably be confronted with developing a system of access rules based on ‘those who have’ and ‘those who haven’t’ been vaccinated in an effort to maintain or stimulate socio-economic health. In other words, a vaccinatio­n ‘passport’ we keep hearing about where being free to walk in and out of shops, supermarke­ts, museums, cinemas, football matches, or even friendly gatherings, require an electronic check at the door or gate.

We are already hooked on using electronic pay-wave options at checkouts and have quickly become used to QR coding for tracking to enter workplaces and shops during the pandemic.

It would take little to develop a similar entry system involving a vaccinatio­n card.

Whether a vaccinatio­n passport is right or wrong, a breach of civil liberties or a necessary health measure for society, the move would be divisive. We hate being segregated as much as we loathe being forced into anything.

France, dealing with a flood of new COVID-19 cases where more than 95 percent are among unvaccinat­ed people, has already introduced and is under pressure to expand such a system.

The controvers­ial move in ‘the birthplace of democratic freedom’ has been met with predictabl­y angry and noisy protests.

Now, we’re hearing suggestion­s from the highest levels in Australia that providing cash incentives to encourage people to get vaccinated might be an alternativ­e. Seriously?

Keeping ourselves, our families, our culture and our country alive should be incentive enough without throwing dollars at the problem

Our leaders have already had to make some hard decisions over COVID-19. There are a few yet to come.

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