Different Takes: People Are Tired Of Pandemic Rules; Are Vaccine Passports Ethical?
Opinion writers tackle these vaccine issues.
Not Even A Fourth Wave Can Crush Vaccine Optimism Now
I've just finished a couple of weeks in Delray Beach, Florida, and I have to tell you: It's a whole different pandemic down here. The restaurants are full; the stores are hopping. Waiters and salespeople wear masks, but most other people don't, not even in crowded bars. South Floridians are acting as if the pandemic is over, even though it plainly isn't. Most of my friends in New York tend to view Floridians as idiots, at least when it comes to Covid-19. They're convinced that Governor Ron DeSantis is hiding the true number of fatalities, and that his refusal to impose a mask mandate and his insistence on keeping the economy relatively open are the irresponsible acts of a Trump wannabe. (Joe Nocera and Faye Flam, 4/6)
The New York Times:
So You Got A Vaccine. Should You Have To Prove It?
More than 19 percent of Americans are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus and upward of 665 million vaccine doses have been administered worldwide. As these numbers continue to rise, countries have begun issuing or considering “vaccine passports. ”Vaccine passports — proof through a phone app or on a piece of paper that you’ve had your shots — are a potential ticket to freedom for millions of vaccinated people around the world. Israel already has them. The European Union and China have also announced a version of them. In the United States, there’s talk about what such a certification might look like. (Jane Coaston, 4/7)
COVID Vaccine Side Effects: Give Essential Workers 2 Days Of Paid Leave
Essential workers, often low-wage and compensated by the hour, are getting vaccinated at lower rates than other groups. Many attribute this reduced vaccine uptake to “vaccine hesitancy” due to false beliefs or even justified skepticism. But there is a systematic “Catch-22” that has been created: At least 40% of people who get vaccinated experience flu-like symptoms one to two days after their injection, and anyone with these symptoms is not allowed to come to work. Compounding this risk is if the person has already been infected with COVID-19, their likelihood of experiencing flu-like symptoms is even higher. (Brita Roy and Dr. Howard P. Forman, 4/7)
Vaccine ‘Passports’ — With Crucial Protections — Can Help Get America Through Herd Immunity Limbo
A traveler shows up at an airline gate, claiming that she’s been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and thus can fly safely to a country that requires that visitors be inoculated. How, exactly, can an airline — or hotel, or any number of other businesses that need to worry about the vaccination status of their customers — be sure? Solving the problem is one of the key steps on the road to reopening the global economy. And as controversial as they’ve become, “vaccine credentials” that allow individuals to show they’ve been vaccinated should be part of the answer — as long as careful safeguards are included. (4/7)
The Washington Post:
An Equitable Vaccine Rollout Must Prioritize The Most Vulnerable Around The World
Many Americans are breathing a sigh of relief. Across the United States, the vaccine rollout is gaining speed. By May 1, every U.S. adult will be eligible for inoculation. But eligibility is far from equity — and around the world, the pandemic is far from over. Already, vast disparities are emerging in vaccine access — both within countries and between them — especially for Afro-descendant and Indigenous communities. Within countries, the gaps are stark. In the United States, for example, White people remained nearly two times more likely to be vaccinated than their neighbors of color at the end of March. In Brazil, Indigenous populations are 10 times more likely to die of covid-19 than the general population, even as wealthy Brazilians travel abroad to secure shots. And in India, many members of poor Muslim and Dalit communities are denied access to the limited vaccine supply that is available. (Darren Walker, 4/6)