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Vaccine Passports May Not Be Effective in Reducing Spread of COVID-19: Experts

Experts say that relying solely on vaccine passports to allow people to engage in certain activities again is not an effective mitigation tool to reduce the spread of COVID-19, and may distract from other necessary interventions or from the message of vaccination itself.

“I think pinning all our hopes on and putting all our efforts into vaccine passports as the main solution to opening up travel might be the wrong strategy,” Dr. Sarah Chan, an expert in bioethics at the Usher Institute, University of Edinburgh, told NTD’s “The Nation Speaks” in a recent interview. “And if we put too much emphasis on passports as the sole strategy, I think we risk creating a false sense of security that might lead people actually to increase their personal risk behaviors,” she said.

Chan said that vaccine passports may divert resources and attention from other important “structural and social interventions to address the wider effects of the pandemic such as education, mental health, and so forth.”

The CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic and the resulting economic downturn have negatively affected people’s mental health. The Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit organization, says about four in 10 American adults have reported symptoms of depression or anxiety, “up from one in 10 adults who reported these symptoms from January to June 2019.”

Poor mental health has affected young adults aged 18 to 24 the most, with 56 percent of them reporting depressive and/or anxiety disorder, and being more likely to turn to substance abuse (25 percent versus 13 percent of all adults) and suicidal thoughts (26 percent versus 11 percent of all adults).

Chan also worries that vaccine passports may make inequality worse for those who are unable to get the vaccine due to preexisting health conditions and those in poorer communities and countries.