Passport Please!

The first time I heard the term vaccine passport was on the morning of February 13, 2021 when the RN administering my first dose of the Pfizer vaccine handed me a card and said to keep it, bring it back on March 6th when I got my second dose and that she thought it would eventually become part of a vaccine passport program. Time will tell but I think she was on to something.

The right wing is making a big deal of being against vaccine passports. What could be more anti-American than prolonging the pandemic and rooting for the sitting American president’s administration to look unsuccessful? I have disliked several administrations in my life but I loved America and therefore wanted them to be successful. Unfortunately several, most glaringly the last one, was incapable of success.

I don’t spend much time consuming right wing mythology so I won’t try to outline all the anti-COVID vaccine rhetoric other than to say it is malarkey (thanks for that word again Joe). Thus far the vaccines are proving effective and safe.

The idea of a vaccine passport makes sense, is legal and a version of it is already being used in Israel with great success. The low tech version may actually be a card we carry around but it is much more likely that we will have an app on our phone or something similar with an accessible database as a backup. (Tip: my wife and I have photos of both of our cards on our phone. That is easy to carry around and accessible.) You may end up getting a registration number that will be necessary for the purchase of a ticket for public transportation, a theater, restaurant admission etc. This is simply a way of keeping the public at large safe by reducing their exposure to the unvaccinated to as close to zero as possible.

Nobody will be forced to be vaccinated; you just won’t be able to engage in activities that will imprudently expose those who have been. This will not take away your freedom. You can still be an idiot; just don’t endanger others in the process. I am willing to pay for my “sins” but not yours.

Right wing extremists love to talk about knowing their rights. In most cases they are incorrect and this is another one. In their 1905 ruling in Jacobson v Massachusetts the Supreme Court ruled 7-2 that the state had the right to require vaccinations. (In that case the culprit was smallpox.) The Court reaffirmed its ruling in 1922 in Zucht v King.

Vaccination against COVID-19 is safe, prudent and a matter of taking personal responsibility. Thanks to the management of the current administration, it is becoming increasingly available. On Friday April 2, 2021 we surpassed 4 million vaccinations in a day for the first time. If you don’t get vaccinated it is largely your own fault and you are endangering your fellow man.

I will conclude with an opinion I have voice before: I believe you have the right to commit suicide but neither manslaughter nor murder. In the case of vaccinations the laws of the land agree with me.

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