April 7th 2021
I first published this (below) at the end of February. Since then not a lot has changed save that while many more people have had first and second vaccinations the “Covid Recovery Group” appears to have joined forces with Mr. Corbyn and the Labour left to oppose “vaccine passports” on the grounds that they are “discriminatory”. I can understand some on the left espousing the well-trodden old communist path of “If I cannot have it, you cannot have it either” but Conservatives? I don`t think so.
You have to have a ticket to get into a football match or a cinema or a theatre. If you cannot afford one you cannot enter. Is that “discriminatory”?
You have to have a driving license to drive a car. If you are too young or too old or too infirm to hold a license or if you have not passed the driving test then you cannot drive. Is that “discriminatory”.
If a vaccine certificate speeds the opening up process then even though I am unlikely to need or to use one myself I am all for it.
I hope that the Prime Minister will not heed the siren voices of the hard left and the CRG and get on with the introduction of a facilitating document that can enable as many people as possible to start to enjoy life again as soon as possible.
March 3rd 2021
I must be missing something. I cannot for the life of me comprehend the objection to the creation of a so-called “vaccine passport” as a document to facilitate travel and, possibly, to access certain facilities.
Nobody is suggesting, so far as I am aware, that any citizen should be compelled to have, or carry, a “vaccine passport” any more than anyone is at present compelled to hold an ordinary one. You do, of course, require a passport if you want to travel abroad and it is also one useful document for the purposes of identification. But if you do not want to travel abroad and if you have other forms of readily available ID such as a driving license or a utility bill in your own name then for most purposes you can manage perfectly well without a British passport be it EU maroon or UK blue.
It is, I think, highly likely that if people wish to fly to European resorts or beyond when and if we are ever allowed to travel abroad again then some form of Covid 19 vaccine document will be required to be produced before departure, upon arrival and, to avoid quarantine, upon returning home. Where is the problem?
In the days when, in the line of duty, I was required to travel to far-flung and developing nations in the tropics I was compelled to carry with me a document confirming that I had, from memory, been vaccinated against Yellow Fever, Smallpox, Typhoid Polio, Meningitis and Rabies. A swift trip across Westminster Bridge to the Tropical Diseases unit at St. Thomas`s Hospital, a few jabs and I was good to go to virtually anywhere in the world. That vital little laisser-passer is now sadly collecting dust in a desk drawer somewhere but if I am required to prove that I have been vaccinated twice for Covid 19 then once the task is complete I am perfectly willing to do so. And I have no issue with having to produce that proof either to travel on a cross-channel ferry or a plane or, for that matter to enter the local pub or restaurant or any other establishment if it allows the people around me to feel safer and more relaxed. As Her Majesty the Queen said last week this is not about “us” it is about other people.
I understand that there are those who, for a variety of fairly bizarre reasons, do not want to be vaccinated against Covid 19 (or, presumably, against polio or German Measles or `Flu or any of the other things that most of us take for granted). That is, of course, entirely their right. It is also the right, in my view, of another country to deny that person entry or of a private business to refuse admission to their premises without the required proof of protection if that is what they want. I simply do not buy into the argument that this will somehow `create two classes of people`. While I have to accept that for medical reasons there are some people who cannot be vaccinated most are in a position either choose to demonstrate that they have been vaccinated or they can choose not to – but that choice is theirs.
It seems to me that it is many of the same people, railing against the loss of `civil liberties` and `human rights` that are, backed by some tabloid newspapers, also screaming to take the brakes off and to ease the lockdown before scientific advice says it is safe or sensible to do so. Some of them may also believe that there has been no pandemic and that Elvis is alive and living on Mars Personally, I would like to be given, and am prepared to pay the modest cost of, a laminated Covid 19 vaccination card when I have eventually received my second treatment in order that I may reassure others, and any authorities that wish to see it, that I am at the very least less likely to be carrying the disease with me. The Royal Society has called for “a broader discussion” about the need for “ethical and legal standards and data protection” before proceeding. I think that is an excuse to kick the proposal into the long grass. My view is that we should decide immediately to issue a certificate to every adult immediately upon receipt of their second vaccination. If it was good enough for Yellow Fever it is good enough for Covid 19.