Vaccine passports

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Tessa K
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Vaccine passports

Post by Tessa K » Wed Jul 21, 2021 7:07 am

I'm not sure what I think about vaccine passports yet but I applied for one this morning, just in case. Better to have it and not need it than to be stuck as it takes five working days to arrive. I applied for the UK event one, not the travel one as I'm not going anywhere.

What's the general opinion?

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Re: Vaccine passports

Post by Fishnut » Wed Jul 21, 2021 7:38 am

Personally, I'm not keen for reasons I have trouble articulating and which may not be valid so will be following this thread with interest. I think the most potentially rational reason is that vaccines are not 100% effective and while transmission rates and severity of any infections are undoubtedly lower, I worry that it will lull people into a false sense of security.
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Re: Vaccine passports

Post by lpm » Wed Jul 21, 2021 7:49 am

Fundamental problem: citizens instinctively compare vaccine passports vs freedom.

When actually the correct comparison is vaccine passports vs lockdown measures.

It's a trade off between ordering the full closure of theatres, nightclubs, concerts, gyms vs telling unvaccinated people they can't come in. But it's never going to work in practice because nobody's yet grasped we are in The After - unvaccinated people simply demand the freedoms they had in The Before. Psychologically no country can cope with the idea of vaccine passports.

But it's good as a tactic to bully young people, the can't-be-arsed category, into getting vaccinated - no need to actually go through with the threat if it's successfully bumped up the 65% 18-30 rate to 80%+.
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Re: Vaccine passports

Post by Woodchopper » Wed Jul 21, 2021 9:51 am

I have some reservations about non-travel vaccination passports.

Circa 90% of the UK adult population had Covid antibodies about three weeks ago. That percentage is increasing every day. Putting people with vaccine acquired antibodies in a different category to people with infection acquired antibodies seems a bit superfluous and divisive. Covid will still circulate among adults when it gets to 100%, and at that point vaccination status probably won’t mean very much. (Yes I know that the immune response from a vaccination is probably stronger than from a natural infection. But, for example, that may well not be the case if we compare an infection one year ago and a vaccination five years ago).

Perhaps more importantly, once everyone has been infected or vaccinated, vaccine passports may create a false sense of security and be used to justify behaviour which could further spread infection. Look out for social media videos of people refusing to wear masks or distance because they have a vaccine certificate.

I agree with lpm that passports will help encourage people who can’t be bothered. But I’m concerned that they are further alienating active anti-vaxxers. So there is a trade off.

I think that respecting people’s bodily autonomy is important. So ‘my body my choice’ should apply to all medical treatments, including vaccination. So I have problems with a possible system in which non-vaccinated people would have difficulty leading what others would take to be a normal life. That would feel like coercion. I’m not an absolutist though, so I wouldn’t object to people who work with vulnerable groups being compelled to be vaccinated or have booster shots. Likewise, vaccinate people who aren’t able to make the choice themselves. It’s all about the trade offs.

I think we all have to get used to different travel restrictions for vaccinated and unvaccinated people. Entering a state isn’t a right and border control does seem to be an effective way to slow down the spread of new variants.

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Re: Vaccine passports

Post by WFJ » Wed Jul 21, 2021 10:07 am

Woodchopper wrote:
Wed Jul 21, 2021 9:51 am
Circa 90% of the UK adult population had Covid antibodies about three weeks ago. That percentage is increasing every day. Putting people with vaccine acquired antibodies in a different category to people with infection acquired antibodies seems a bit superfluous and divisive. Covid will still circulate among adults when it gets to 100%, and at that point vaccination status probably won’t mean very much. (Yes I know that the immune response from a vaccination is probably stronger than from a natural infection. But, for example, that may well not be the case if we compare an infection one year ago and a vaccination five years ago).
For the EU's certificate program, proof of recovery with a negative PCR following a positive can be used instead of proof of vaccine. Although I think recovered status only lasts 6 months compared to a year for fully vaccinated status. People who can prove recovery only need one shot of the two shot vaccines to get fully vaccinated status.

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Re: Vaccine passports

Post by Woodchopper » Wed Jul 21, 2021 10:24 am

WFJ wrote:
Wed Jul 21, 2021 10:07 am
Woodchopper wrote:
Wed Jul 21, 2021 9:51 am
Circa 90% of the UK adult population had Covid antibodies about three weeks ago. That percentage is increasing every day. Putting people with vaccine acquired antibodies in a different category to people with infection acquired antibodies seems a bit superfluous and divisive. Covid will still circulate among adults when it gets to 100%, and at that point vaccination status probably won’t mean very much. (Yes I know that the immune response from a vaccination is probably stronger than from a natural infection. But, for example, that may well not be the case if we compare an infection one year ago and a vaccination five years ago).
For the EU's certificate program, proof of recovery with a negative PCR following a positive can be used instead of proof of vaccine. Although I think recovered status only lasts 6 months compared to a year for fully vaccinated status. People who can prove recovery only need one shot of the two shot vaccines to get fully vaccinated status.
Yes, conceivably there might be a more general European antibody smartphone app which shows someone’s last vaccination or positive PCR test. I don’t know whether that would help or not though.

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Re: Vaccine passports

Post by Tessa K » Wed Jul 21, 2021 10:30 am

Fishnut wrote:
Wed Jul 21, 2021 7:38 am
Personally, I'm not keen for reasons I have trouble articulating and which may not be valid so will be following this thread with interest. I think the most potentially rational reason is that vaccines are not 100% effective and while transmission rates and severity of any infections are undoubtedly lower, I worry that it will lull people into a false sense of security.
Yes, there is a chance people with a certificate will think they are invulnerable but I agree with LPM that it may push the younger ones (who tend to go out more) into getting the vaccine. I don't think we're in The After though, more like The Purgatory between lockdown and safety. And as with Purgatory, it could go either way - to Hell or Heaven.

The anti-vaxxers will always find something to kick off about. Even if Covid disappeared tomorrow they'd be protesting and finding conspiracies or threats to their freedom.

ETA: Someone I know made an interesting point elsewhere: If I want, I should be allowed to have some proof of a medical procedure that has been carried out on me. That's my information to do with as I please.

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Re: Vaccine passports

Post by WFJ » Wed Jul 21, 2021 10:37 am

Woodchopper wrote:
Wed Jul 21, 2021 10:24 am

Yes, conceivably there might be a more general European antibody smartphone app which shows someone’s last vaccination or positive PCR test. I don’t know whether that would help or not though.
Unless I am missing something this is what already exists. There is no single app, but a single certificate that can be scanned and added to a choice of apps. This shows your last vaccination or positive/negative PCR. At least in Germany, if you are in an area where the current infection numbers are above certain thresholds, you have to show either the certificate, your vaccination book or the information you have scanned into an app, to access restaurants, cinemas, sports facilities etc. Isn't this what the vaccine passports in the UK will be used for?

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Re: Vaccine passports

Post by WFJ » Wed Jul 21, 2021 10:44 am

Tessa K wrote:
Wed Jul 21, 2021 10:30 am

Yes, there is a chance people with a certificate will think they are invulnerable...
I think that is already the case, regardless of certificates, at least amongst people who would act in such ways anyway.

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Re: Vaccine passports

Post by IvanV » Wed Jul 21, 2021 11:11 am

There is still no mutual recognition of EU and UK vaccine certificates. So not much of a "passport" in the usual sense yet.
Euractiv: EU-UK lost in translation over COVID vaccine certification

It sounds like if anyone is dragging their feet over this, it is the UK.

Mutual recognition isn't the same as opening the border to tourism by the vaccinated. Some EU countries have borders still closed to general tourism, even if you are coming from another EU country.

A couple of individual EU countries, desperate for the tourism £, have decided to recognise the UK certificate unilaterally.

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Re: Vaccine passports

Post by Woodchopper » Wed Jul 21, 2021 11:15 am

WFJ wrote:
Wed Jul 21, 2021 10:37 am
Woodchopper wrote:
Wed Jul 21, 2021 10:24 am

Yes, conceivably there might be a more general European antibody smartphone app which shows someone’s last vaccination or positive PCR test. I don’t know whether that would help or not though.
Unless I am missing something this is what already exists. There is no single app, but a single certificate that can be scanned and added to a choice of apps. This shows your last vaccination or positive/negative PCR. At least in Germany, if you are in an area where the current infection numbers are above certain thresholds, you have to show either the certificate, your vaccination book or the information you have scanned into an app, to access restaurants, cinemas, sports facilities etc. Isn't this what the vaccine passports in the UK will be used for?
Yes, exactly. But it the EU system doesn’t include the UK and there are 27 different systems which need to be coordinated for things like travel.

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Re: Vaccine passports

Post by Gfamily » Wed Jul 21, 2021 11:36 am

I was able to upload my NHS Covid vaccination certificate to the French "AntiCovid" app today, and that should allow me access to 'Pass only' venues.

I had to download a fresh copy of the NHS certificate, there are separate 'domestic' and 'travel' versions you can download.
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Re: Vaccine passports

Post by shpalman » Wed Jul 21, 2021 11:40 am

Woodchopper wrote:
Wed Jul 21, 2021 11:15 am
WFJ wrote:
Wed Jul 21, 2021 10:37 am
Woodchopper wrote:
Wed Jul 21, 2021 10:24 am

Yes, conceivably there might be a more general European antibody smartphone app which shows someone’s last vaccination or positive PCR test. I don’t know whether that would help or not though.
Unless I am missing something this is what already exists. There is no single app, but a single certificate that can be scanned and added to a choice of apps. This shows your last vaccination or positive/negative PCR. At least in Germany, if you are in an area where the current infection numbers are above certain thresholds, you have to show either the certificate, your vaccination book or the information you have scanned into an app, to access restaurants, cinemas, sports facilities etc. Isn't this what the vaccine passports in the UK will be used for?
Yes, exactly. But it the EU system doesn’t include the UK and there are 27 different systems which need to be coordinated for things like travel.
Why are there 27 different systems? The UK just has to coordinate with one system, the EU system. Or I've misunderstood since in addition to the Green Pass there are EU countries which impose additional requirements e.g. the Passenger Locator Form for Greece. Or there are EU countries which only accept a Green Pass if it's via a full course of vaccinations and not just a negative PCR or previous infection. And there's still discussion about whether the Green Pass you get two weeks after the first dose should still count, in the face of Delta.
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Re: Vaccine passports

Post by shpalman » Wed Jul 21, 2021 11:51 am

lpm wrote:
Wed Jul 21, 2021 7:49 am
Fundamental problem: citizens instinctively compare vaccine passports vs freedom.

When actually the correct comparison is vaccine passports vs lockdown measures.

It's a trade off between ordering the full closure of theatres, nightclubs, concerts, gyms vs telling unvaccinated people they can't come in. But it's never going to work in practice because nobody's yet grasped we are in The After - unvaccinated people simply demand the freedoms they had in The Before. Psychologically no country can cope with the idea of vaccine passports.

But it's good as a tactic to bully young people, the can't-be-arsed category, into getting vaccinated - no need to actually go through with the threat if it's successfully bumped up the 65% 18-30 rate to 80%+.
For example, in Italy when they ask the restaurant owners (restaurants are already open including for indoor dining but with restrictions on the number of people at a table) if they're in favour of needing a Green Pass to go in a restaurant, of course they whine about it being complicated and whatever. But if you ask owners of nightclubs and discos (which are not open yet) they of course would be in favour of the Green Pass if it meant they could open. They might of course complain that it's too much hassle or an impingement of someone's fundamental right to access a private space but then it makes a change from not being allowed in because the kind of shoes you're wearing makes the bouncer think you might start a fight.

I wouldn't be in favour of needing a Green Pass to go to the supermarket, for example, but for luxury/leisure activities, absolutely. I'd probably be more likely to go to a place, and feel more relaxed while I was there, if I knew they took the Green Pass seriously. Is it a "false sense of security"? Well, the alternative is that you let people go to those places and do those things anyway without any Green Pass rules, and your choice is either to take a bigger risk or stay home (and you could have just stayed home anyway). Or you don't let anybody do those things at all.

(The Green Pass can currently be obtained 15 days after your first vaccination and it lasts until 9 months after your second one, I think; or 6 months after being declared free of a previous covid infection; or something like 48 hours after a negative test but I'm not sure if PCR is required or if rapid testing is fine for that.)
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Re: Vaccine passports

Post by Herainestold » Wed Jul 21, 2021 7:15 pm

If they encourage the vaccine reluctant to get jabbed they are worth it, but thats about it.
The problem is that vaccines don 't really stop transmission, so a venue full of vaccinated people is not really any safer than a mix of vaccinated and unvaxed. Health care and aged care workers should be required to be vaccinated for their own safety and because there are shortages of such people
and we cant afford to lose any. Same with teachers.
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Re: Vaccine passports

Post by Millennie Al » Thu Jul 22, 2021 1:27 am

Vaccine passports are a passing fad which really only serve political purposes. Either enough people are vaccinated that the rest don't matter, or enough people are not vaccinated that they cannot be discriminated against.

For example, do you think that in 10 years time venues can serve any useful purpose by checking a vaccine passport if 1%, 10% , or 50% of people who want to enter are unvaccinated? At 1%, it doesn't matter, at 10% it's bad commercially and of dubious benefit, while at 50% it's totally unviable. There will probably be poor countries which get to 50% and then will be seen to be coping without needing further restrictions (though that may be as a result of those vulnerable to the disease having died) which will make restrictions is more highly vaccinated countries impractical.

Although I claim that they're a fad, that's for a society. For individuals they may well be necessary - at least in the short term.
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Re: Vaccine passports

Post by sTeamTraen » Thu Jul 22, 2021 10:45 am

Woodchopper wrote:
Wed Jul 21, 2021 9:51 am
I think we all have to get used to different travel restrictions for vaccinated and unvaccinated people. Entering a state isn’t a right and border control does seem to be an effective way to slow down the spread of new variants.
We-e-e-e-lll, entering EU state B coming from EU state A if you hold an EU passport pretty much is a right. This has come close to causing problems on a few occasions in the past 16 monthsé
WFJ wrote:
Wed Jul 21, 2021 10:07 am
Although I think recovered status only lasts 6 months compared to a year for fully vaccinated status. People who can prove recovery only need one shot of the two shot vaccines to get fully vaccinated status.
Do you have references for either of those claims? I'm not doubting them, but I haven't seen either and would like confirmation.

In particular, I haven't seen anything about how long the vaccine "lasts", not any indication that this is EU-wide. (The certificate says when you had your last dose of what vaccine, but has no expiry mentioned.) The only indication I've seen of any sort of limit has been on the travel restrictions that the Balearic Islands government has unilaterally imposed on travellers from other parts of Spain. This allows you to avoid the need for an antigen test if you had a first dose more than 15 days but less than 4 months ago, or a final dose more than 0 days but less than 8 months ago. These rules appeared slightly before the EU certificate went public and may well have been thought up by a scientist or lawyer in an office in Palma, but those questions will have to be answered. (I also saw --- somewhere, but I didn't make a note --- of somewhere that counted a full vaccine course as a second dose more than 14 days ago, or a Janssen single dose more than 28 days ago.)
IvanV wrote:
Wed Jul 21, 2021 11:11 am
There is still no mutual recognition of EU and UK vaccine certificates. So not much of a "passport" in the usual sense yet.
Euractiv: EU-UK lost in translation over COVID vaccine certification

It sounds like if anyone is dragging their feet over this, it is the UK.

Mutual recognition isn't the same as opening the border to tourism by the vaccinated. Some EU countries have borders still closed to general tourism, even if you are coming from another EU country.

A couple of individual EU countries, desperate for the tourism £, have decided to recognise the UK certificate unilaterally.
As far as I know pretty much every EU country recognises the NHS Covid Pass. This suggests that they are happy to just look at the certificate or phone screen.

That's interesting because the EU Digital Covid [not just vaccine; also test and recovery] Certificate is designed to be super-secure and unfakeable. The UK's delay in accepting it could therefore be for the quite legitimate reason that they don't yet have the software written and/or database access to scan the EU certificates, in which case it doesn't seem unreasonable to me to prioritise its own certificates, given that Brexit did indeed happen. On the other hand it could be the UK playing silly buggers.
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Re: Vaccine passports

Post by IvanV » Thu Jul 22, 2021 11:02 am

sTeamTraen wrote:
Thu Jul 22, 2021 10:45 am
IvanV wrote:
Wed Jul 21, 2021 11:11 am
There is still no mutual recognition of EU and UK vaccine certificates. So not much of a "passport" in the usual sense yet.
As far as I know pretty much every EU country recognises the NHS Covid Pass. This suggests that they are happy to just look at the certificate or phone screen.
Not very long ago it was reported it was only the Spanish and the Greeks who were recognising it. When I checked less than 2 weeks ago, the Czechs were refusing them. But the Czechs have since changed their mind, as I learned just this morning. As noted above the French are accepting them. So doubtless you are right that most of them are now.

If that is true, it sounds like the govt has got away with dragging its feet on recognising the EU certificate, as increasingly many individual EU countries find it in their interest to unilaterally recognise the NHS certificate. I wonder how many other things will end up working like that?

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Re: Vaccine passports

Post by IvanV » Thu Jul 22, 2021 11:02 am

...
Last edited by IvanV on Thu Jul 22, 2021 11:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Vaccine passports

Post by IvanV » Thu Jul 22, 2021 11:04 am

sTeamTraen wrote:
Thu Jul 22, 2021 10:45 am
As far as I know pretty much every EU country recognises the NHS Covid Pass. This suggests that they are happy to just look at the certificate or phone screen.
Not very long ago it was reported it was only the Spanish and the Greeks who were recognising it. When I checked less than 2 weeks ago, the Czechs were refusing them. But the Czechs have since changed their mind, as I learned just this morning. As noted above the French are accepting them. So doubtless you are right that most of them are now.

If that is true, it sounds like the govt has got away with dragging its feet on recognising the EU certificate, as increasingly many individual EU countries find it in their interest to unilaterally recognise the NHS certificate. I wonder how many other things will end up working like that?

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Re: Vaccine passports

Post by WFJ » Thu Jul 22, 2021 12:18 pm

sTeamTraen wrote:
Thu Jul 22, 2021 10:45 am
WFJ wrote:
Wed Jul 21, 2021 10:07 am
Although I think recovered status only lasts 6 months compared to a year for fully vaccinated status. People who can prove recovery only need one shot of the two shot vaccines to get fully vaccinated status.
Do you have references for either of those claims? I'm not doubting them, but I haven't seen either and would like confirmation.

In particular, I haven't seen anything about how long the vaccine "lasts", not any indication that this is EU-wide. (The certificate says when you had your last dose of what vaccine, but has no expiry mentioned.) The only indication I've seen of any sort of limit has been on the travel restrictions that the Balearic Islands government has unilaterally imposed on travellers from other parts of Spain. This allows you to avoid the need for an antigen test if you had a first dose more than 15 days but less than 4 months ago, or a final dose more than 0 days but less than 8 months ago. These rules appeared slightly before the EU certificate went public and may well have been thought up by a scientist or lawyer in an office in Palma, but those questions will have to be answered. (I also saw --- somewhere, but I didn't make a note --- of somewhere that counted a full vaccine course as a second dose more than 14 days ago, or a Janssen single dose more than 28 days ago.)
I am not sure the one year claim is correct. Previously, when I looked at my certificate in the app on my phone it had an expiry date, but this has now been removed.

For recovered people here (in German) it says that recovered people can receive a certificate between 28 days and 6 months after a positive test (it seems a negative test is not actually required you are just classed as recovered after 28 days) and after 6 months you are no longer considered recovered, but will have fully vaccinated status with a single vaccine dose.

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Re: Vaccine passports

Post by shpalman » Thu Jul 22, 2021 1:25 pm

Originally I remember the discussion being about making the Green Pass from vaccination valid for 6 months, then it became 9 months. However, DGC doesn't indicate a limit for the Green Pass from vaccination, just that a Green Pass from a negative test lasts 48 hours and from recovery from infection, six months.

The relevant EU]REGULATION (EU) 2021/953 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL doesn't seem to mention these terms of validity.
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Re: Vaccine passports

Post by shpalman » Thu Jul 22, 2021 6:21 pm

The decree was signed this afternoon which will make a Green Pass obligatory for the following things in Italy starting from the 5th of August:

Indoor bars (for table service) and restaurants.
Shows.
Cinema.
Theatre.
Museums.
Stadiums.
Spas
Swimming pools.
Gyms.
Tradeshows/congresses/conferences.
"Concourses" in this context refers to the application procedure for jobs which are paid for by public money, which requires a sort of open competitive interview procedure. With a job like mine (university professor) there might just be 3-5 applicants but if they open new nursing positions or something there can be thousands of people showing up (for hundreds of positions).

Discos still aren't going to open.
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Re: Vaccine passports

Post by shpalman » Thu Jul 22, 2021 8:12 pm

shpalman wrote:
Thu Jul 22, 2021 6:21 pm
The decree was signed this afternoon which will make a Green Pass obligatory for the following things in Italy starting from the 5th of August:

Indoor bars (for table service) and restaurants.
Shows.
Cinema.
Theatre.
Museums.
Stadiums.
Spas
Swimming pools.
Gyms.
Tradeshows/congresses/conferences.
"Concourses" in this context refers to the application procedure for jobs which are paid for by public money, which requires a sort of open competitive interview procedure. With a job like mine (university professor) there might just be 3-5 applicants but if they open new nursing positions or something there can be thousands of people showing up (for hundreds of positions).

Discos still aren't going to open.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/ ... strictions
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Re: Vaccine passports

Post by shpalman » Fri Jul 23, 2021 5:17 pm

Of course, bar and restaurant owners are all complaining about having to check people's Green Passes "just to have a coffee" (which isn't true because you can drink a coffee standing at the bar without a Green Pass) or that "we aren't policemen".

I'll make a note of which places I can walk out of without paying, they won't do anything about it, they "aren't policemen". Also, kids, knock yourself out with the underage drinking.

I'm still disappointed that we can't at least go dancing outside with Green Passes, if only just to annoy people I know via dancing who are against it.

But it has led to an uptick in booking of vaccinations.
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