A case for Covid vaccine passports

One in five Northwestern Ontario residents have not received a single Covid vaccine. If you are going into Walmart or Safeway to shop, it means that, statistically, one in five shoppers has not had a single dose. That statistic alone mandates that we must continue to wear masks indoors.

It also makes the case for government issued Covid passports. For those of us who have followed the rules of wearing masks, self isolating in the winter and spring months, and becoming vaccinated, we do not wish to return to those routines. We do not want our children to have to learn remotely again should the Delta variant grow as it is doing south of our border, forcing us to return to our experiences in March, April, and May of this year. We will be very upset if the government restricts our activities again because unvaccinated people have created a surge of cases across the province.

The solution is to have the government issue Covid passports. Then restaurants, bars, retail stores, and hair care facilities can make an informed decision on who to allow onto their premises. Businesses can identify customers with proven government issued form showing partial or full vaccinations. And those who choose not to be vaccinated can have their lives restricted not able to go to restaurants, bars, retailers, or attend sporting events.

Businesses can also mandate that their employees be fully vaccinated as a condition of employment. By so doing they are protecting their employees and their families from potential illness. They are also protecting their customers who may come in contact with employees. In colleges and universities across Canada, students and staff are being mandated to be vaccinated.

Already, when children begin school at age 4 or 5, they are mandated to be vaccinated for a large group of transmissible illnesses. A national or provincial passport showing full Covid vaccination is not unreasonable. Choosing to remain unvaccinated is a personal choice. Personal decisions have consequences.In choosing to remain unvaccinated, those persons endanger the lives of themselves, relatives, and others. Statistics already show that they are the largest group becoming sick with the Delta variant and spreading that virus.

Public Health agencies are responsible for protecting all citizens, even from each other. Those not having a passport will see their lives and freedoms diminished. A Covid passport will protect us all. The other benefit is that it will encourage more people to be vaccinated.