Proof of Covid Vaccine: Is it a step to ID cards?

Both the UK and Scottish Governments look set to introduce Covid Vaccination ‘Passports’ if people want to go to large events or to enter nightclubs.

The proposals which have had a mixed response from politicians are coming when 133,000 people in the UK have died because of Covid.

Orkney Constituency MSP LibDem, Liam McArthur, has serious concerns about the introduction of proof of vaccination to get into events where there will be a lot of people.

Liam McArthur said that he was not convinced they would be either proportionate or effective in curbing infection rates.’

“While the government has confirmed that this decision will be subject to a parliamentary vote, serious questions remain unanswered. The First Minister has not made clear how long such identification will be required, how the government expects businesses to police enforcement, or indeed how this will help reduce case numbers.

“Vaccinations are undoubtedly our route out of this pandemic, but there are other actions that should be prioritised ahead of Covid ID cards. We need more focus on building capacity in our Test and Protect system, for example, while also being more proactive in encouraging take up of vaccinations and testing.”

3,736,762 (84%) Scots are now fully vaccinated against Covid. In Orkney 92.8% of the adult population is fully vaccinated.

Labour in Scotland have also joined with the LibDems in their opposition to proof of vaccination.

Labour leader Anas Sarwar considers that requiring proof of vaccination to get into large events will increase vaccine hesitancy.

The Scottish Parliament will be having a vote on the introduction of proof of vaccination for public events and places like nightclubs. Will it pass? What will the Tories in Scotland do given that their UK Johnson Government is going ahead with the same thing? And what about the Scottish Greens, now in a coalition (which is not a coalition but looks very like one) with the SNP?

Gillian Mackay MSP, the Greens spokesperson for health and social care, said:

“It’s essential that the Scottish Government ensures that the proposed introduction of vaccine certification doesn’t adversely affect disabled people, those with underlying health conditions and those from the global south who may not be able to access proof of vaccination. It’s essential that government acts to address the surge in cases, but it must ensure that there are no negative unintended consequences from the measures it introduces.”

So it looks like this will be the first price to pay for the Greens for entering into government in junior ministerial posts.

Douglas Ross MSP, Leader of the Scottish Tories but who is also an MP has described the Scottish Government’s proposals on vaccine ID as ‘shambolic’. And yet the Tory Johnson government is going to do the same thing.

The House of Commons Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee published their report on the introduction of Covid vaccine ID for indoor spaces and large events. It states:

While it may not be the Government’s intention for the potential introduction of Covid-status certificates to be a route to introducing ID cards into the UK, there are clear similarities and legitimate concerns that this could occur. Parliament should be aware of these concerns and take them into account when considering any potential Covid-status certification system proposed by the Government.

They also state that they have serious concerns over data protection and “that the Government have not established a clear scientific case, nor a good overriding public interest case.”

41,195 tested positive for Covid-19 in the UK according to published results on 6th September.

43,455,083 – 79.9% of those in the UK aged 16 years and over have been fully vaccinated.

Vaccination protects most people from the worst effects of the virus, but people can still contract Covid and they can still pass it on. Increasing numbers are having to go to hospital ,(7,606 when this report was written) and some will also be admitted into ICU (Intensive Care Units) – 1,034 people on 6th September. All this puts more and more pressure on the NHS and other services. There will also be many people who will continue to suffer from long covid.

This public health crisis has become a political football – with politicians looking for points to score off each other instead of the health and wellbeing of citizens.

Will having a Covid Vaccine Proof ID card make any difference if people are not physically distancing or wearing masks? Crowded into spaces with little ventilation? The very conditions that the virus thrives in and can be transmitted by those who have been vaccinated.

Fiona Grahame

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2 replies »

  1. I agree… and I am sometimes thinking: had the so-called Western world acted as harsh as the Chinese did early on, there would have been a chance to stop the pandemic in its tracks, globally. Our current situation might show that we haven’t found the right balance between civil liberties when it would have been necessary to act swift and hard. The virus would not have been supported in developing many different strains and many lives could have been saved. This could have been fully over by now. The liberties, so many were reluctant to give up for a short period, have cost us much. And instead of protecting the economy, the mishandling of the pandemic (Boris, are you listening?) has done much more long lasting damage to the economy than correct action would have ever done.
    I do not dare to predict which economic costs (and personal hardship) are in the pipeline in the future because we do not even know how many people will be affected by long Covid which can come with existential problems if you can’t do your job anymore, will require treatment and so on. Covid can affect many organs… which means if a person is the unlucky one who develops later for example renal failure or heart problems, this is unlikely to be seen in the context of a Covid infection some years earlier…
    We are where we are… I just hope that governments have learned lessons for the next pandemic which is inevitable and just a question of time.

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