Nicole Daniels wrote an article last month in New York Times, which aims to analyze the repercussions of a mandatory ‘vaccine passport’ for entering into a country, school, or a movie theater. The rationale behind showing proof of vaccination is allows a space for conducting their respective life (back to) normalcy, and it has ability in economic terms to allow steady recovery in economy. Yes, people should be required to show proof of vaccination because the life of people with weak immune system is equally important when it comes to herd immunity.
Legally, governments can mandate vaccinations for businesses and educational institutes to demand proof of vaccination from students and customers (Daniels). The practice of requiring resident to pay a fine if not vaccinated against smallpox arise from 1905 Supreme Court ruling, and mandating states to enforce the ruling. Additionally, the Supreme Court ruling specifically states Government entities, such as Army and school boards that require vaccination at travel, service, and entry. Furthermore, Justice John Marshall Harlan states, “A community has the right to protect itself against an epidemic of disease which threatens the safety of its members,” in Jacobson v. Massachusetts case of 1905.
However, the divide in society is wide. For example, private companies can refuse to do business, or employ someone, with whomever they wish. Although, exceptions to the rule exist and they pertain to inclusion of vaccination status. In a similar way, governments can also use the legislative process to enact law that rules out ‘discrimination on the basis of vaccination status.’ American history is evident that efforts to stamp out smallpox in the early 20th century, when businesses across the country demanded proof of vaccination which actually worked. Nevertheless, strict measures can replace incentivizing approach so that people do not feel it as sacrifice of their liberty. As a libertarian, the coercive measures of vaccine passes and passports are justified because they promote her immunity, which means to protect the people whose immunity system is weak.
The proponents of ‘vaccination passports’ rely on in inclusive approach for health and safety of everyone, and especially the one with fragile immunity to COVID-19 virus. Nevertheless, a right balance between civil liberty and public health concerns is the purpose of proponents of ‘vaccination passports’ through an efficient and fraud-resistant tool for health screening. The concerns of employees and potential customers is the priority in cruise lines businesses, airlines, and entertainment venues that take into consideration the concern of gathering in large groups. For example, since last month, businesses in New York have additional economic incentive of hosting 100 people indoors, while 200 people outdoors. The protocols of social distancing and mask wearing are in place, and the limits can increase to 150 and 500 respectively, if venues require proof of ‘negative coronavirus test.’
It is important to distinguish between the people who actually choose to stay vulnerable, and people have weak immune systems, such as individuals on immunosuppressive drugs. Fear in people plays a critical role, and it requires policies like ‘voluntary participation,’ presented by New York State and Biden Administration. The people in United States already show their health paper while traveling or during immigration, which brings us to the point where the necessity of making vaccine passports is viewed as positive measure at global level. Respecting the choices and rights of individuals mean government policing that entertain different segment of society, irrespective of the belief of the majority. Moreover, collective measures like vaccine passports can significantly increase the capacity of humans to fight the COVID-19 virus, which is a global threat and is creating chaos around the world.
Daniels, Nicole. “Should People Be Required to Show Proof of Vaccination?” The New York Times, 14 Apr. 2021, www.nytimes.com/2021/04/14/learning/should-people-be-required-to-show-proof-of-vaccination.html.