How Often Will You Need Your ‘Vaccine Passport’?


It’s been a matter of speculation for the entirety of the pandemic: Will some places eventually require proof of vaccination to enter?

And now it’s becoming a reality, with the Biden administration looking to coordinate the various efforts to create “vaccine passports.” News stories are full of dystopian predictions that you’ll need your passport to enter “concert venues, stadiums, movie theaters, offices, or even countries.”

God only knows how far some people will take this, especially with the government facilitating it. Just for fun, though, I’ll hazard a prediction: We won’t use these very often.

People are going to find it annoying to have their health records checked, imposing a cost on businesses that choose to do it. There are certain high-risk settings, such as nursing homes and cruise ships, where it might make sense for a while, but otherwise it won’t be worth the trouble.

Between the vaccines and natural immunity, COVID-19 is (hopefully) on its way out. Daily deaths in the U.S. are below 1,000 and trending downward. The fewer deaths we have, the less helpful it will seem to aggressively — and at the cost of great inconvenience and intrusion — screen out the unvaccinated.

Also, the vaccines are extremely effective at preventing the most severe problems caused by the virus. So once the shots are fully available, it makes some sense to see this as an individual decision. If you’re vaccinated, you have very little to fear from someone who isn’t. And if you’re not, well, that’s your choice, and you can deal with the consequences.

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