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Editorial: Vaccine passport debate heats up as B.C. rollout continues

Nobody should be forced to get the shot, but is it reasonable to require it as a condition of some types of employment?
COVID vaccine

As vaccine rollouts start to pick up steam, the issue of “vaccine passports” is rearing its head.

Politicians are leery of them, fearing they serve to disadvantage the vulnerable. Civil liberties groups don’t like them either.

But chances are the general public is a lot less squeamish about some kind of vaccine ticket.

The issue recently got attention after it was revealed 35 per cent of staff at one long-term care home suffering a post-vaccine outbreak had not received the shot.

Given that long-term care residents have been prisoners in their own homes for a year now and that vaccination is a key to their lives returning to near normal, that kind of statistic is difficult to accept.

Nobody should be forced to get the shot, but is it reasonable to require it as a condition of some types of employment?

We won’t be surprised to see similar questions raised about other health care and “congregate” work settings.

Once vaccines are approved for children, will they be required for attending school?

When it comes to international travel, many vaccines are already required for certain destinations. Likely COVID will be added to that list for many countries. 

When it comes to activities at home – attending sports events, concerts, going to a packed bar or restaurant – the jury is still out on vaccine passports.

But for many people, vaccination is key not just to removing threat of immediate illness but also to resuming the parts of our lives we’ve lost in the past year.

Given that, it won’t be surprising if vaccine passports have a role to play.

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