- Australia is up and running to attain pre-pandemic travel targets amid increasing vaccination numbers and easing COVID-related restrictions.
- The federal government is considering introducing a vaccine passport system to achieve normality while keeping people safe.
- COVID-19 vaccine passports act as government-verified evidence for an individual’s vaccination status.
Several industries, particularly travel and outdoor entertainment have been among the worst-hit sectors amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Domestic as well as international domains suffered huge losses due to the coronavirus outbreak and the consequent movement restrictions.
Now, while coming out of the lockdown, Australia is up and running to attain pre-pandemic targets across industries.
A vaccine passport system is one of the many ways being considered by the Australian government to achieve normality while keeping people safe. But is it the right solution? Today, in this article, we will elaborate on the Australian vaccine passport system.
Vaccine passport as proof of vaccination
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COVID-19 vaccine passports act as government-verified evidence for an individual’s vaccination status.
The passport has its role in allowing or denying a particular service to people, especially for movement from one place to another and their participation in public events. The federal government of Australia has set the pace for the vaccine passport system with trials at several locations.
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Debate over discriminatory nature of vaccine passports
As of 10 October 2021, 16,995,261 people have had at least one dose which means 82.4% of people over the age of 16 have received the first dose of vaccine in Australia. Around 62.4% of the population aged 16 or above are fully vaccinated. This also clearly brings forth that 17.6% of people are not vaccinated yet.
While there can be many reasons, including health restrictions and non-availability of vaccines, for being unvaccinated, the vaccine passport system will not allow such people for domestic or international travel.
They would stay deprived of the benefits granted to the vaccinated population. This is one reason the notion of a vaccine passport system is being called discriminatory by a section of the population.
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An easy-to-use vaccine passport for all
To make it more inclusive, the government is being urged to alter the proposed system for vaccine passports and incorporate more exemptions for non-vaccinated people.
It is only advisable to bring in the vaccine passport system without any restrictive norms. It must not be made mandatory by the federal government, as suggested by many experts.
It has turned out to be a taxing task to get the business and the economy back on track. While a vaccine passport system is a great option for a safe unlock, it has several pros and cons. So, it is important that authorities consider all the options to make it doable while mulling safety for all.