• To enter public spaces, including cafes, restaurants, etc., proof of COVID-19 vaccination is now required. Could this help contain the ongoing pandemic in the United States?
  • From the late 19th century, vaccine passports were used in the United States.
  • The vaccination passport or something similar is likely to remain voluntary in today’s world.

On July 12, 2021, Emmanuel Macron’s government announced that anyone traveling long distances by train, entering a cafe, shopping center or restaurant will have to present a COVID-19 health pass from August. next. In order to contain the rapid spread of Delta across the country, more severe restrictions in public places are being put in place.

Could the United States take a similar approach to France’s vaccination requirements?

COVID-19 vaccination records, negative test results and COVID-19 recovery are all included on the medical pass, which is officially known as the EU digital COVID certificate. From July 21, all people over 12 years old will need the pass to enter cinemas, museums, theaters, theme parks and cultural centers.

Edouard Mathieu of Our World in Data tweeted that more than 2.2 million vaccination appointments have been booked online following Macron’s announcement.

Reuters reports that the new rules sparked unrest in France as French citizens protested the violation of their rights and discrimination against unvaccinated people as a result. French vaccination coverage reaches nearly 40% of the population. We are facing a similar outbreak of the Delta variant in the United States, with similar vaccination rates. Are vaccine requirements like Macron’s ready for implementation?

The vaccination passport is not a new concept in the United States.

Vaccine passports in the United States are not a new concept, says Bruce Y. Lee, professor of health policy and management at the University of California, Los Angeles. In the context of vaccine passports, he said that if a child wants to go to school, he or she needs a vaccine. These discussions are not entirely unexpected, he says. Reports from Time claim that vaccine passports date back to the late 19th century in the United States.

The country required travelers to enter the country with proof of smallpox vaccination. Vaccination certificates and scars on the arm could demonstrate vaccination. Smallpox survivors could also be allowed if their skin showed distinctive scars from the disease. Many types of employment letters required proof of smallpox vaccination, especially those in confined conditions such as factories, mines and other industrial environments.

Before joining a club or social event, some gatherings may require proof of vaccination. Smallpox vaccinations were also mandatory in public schools, just as they are today for measles, mumps and various infectious diseases.

The last natural smallpox epidemic was eradicated in the United States in 1949, thanks to the smallpox vaccination program. Since 1980, the world has been free from smallpox thanks to the World Health Organization. Even though vaccinations have been mandatory for access to public spaces in the United States for decades, there is still political opposition to the idea today. The idea of ​​vaccine passports has been criticized by some political leaders [in the U.S.] already, says Lee.

Opposition to vaccine passports is at least in part the result of Americans who cannot think of what is best for the community versus what is best for themselves. Richard M. Carpiano teaches public policy at Riverside, University of California. [Discussions about mandates] often turn into “I should be able to do whatever I want”, but that is not the underlying basis of our social contract, which is: “All you need, as long as you don’t hurt anyone” , he explained.

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