50% of Brits would support the idea of a vaccine passport, according to a survey by research company Piplsay.
The concept of vaccine or immunity passports, e-certificates containing an individual’s vaccine status or Covid-19 test results, has been presented as a possible route out of Covid-19 restrictions for some time now. While some argue that they could allow the safe return of large-scale events or international travel, others have said that they could lead to greater discrimination.
Vaccine minister Nadhim Zahawi has said that the UK government has ruled out the idea of a vaccine passport, telling BBC’s Andrew Marr Show that individuals could get written evidence from their GP that they have had the vaccine if needed.
Outside of the UK, responses have been mixed, with Denmark and Sweden saying they may introduce vaccine passports, and the Greek prime minister saying that tourists from the UK may be permitted to enter the country if they can prove they have had the vaccine. However, other countries have ruled out the concept of a vaccine passport.
In the private sector, a number of companies have already developed their own versions of vaccine or immunity passports, with British tech company VST Enterprises launching a ‘fit to fly’ health passport in December 2020.
Piplsay polled 6,037 people in the UK and 50% of those surveyed said that they would support “the idea of access based on one’s health status”. 20% said they would only support the idea of a vaccine passport in the context of travel, with 17% saying they would not support it on the grounds that it is unfair or discriminatory.
33% said that it could make travel less stressful to some extent.
Support for vaccine passports also varied by age group, with 40% of Gen Zers support the idea of vaccine passports for travel as compared to 35% of Millennials and 25% of Gen Xers.
However, 25% of Millennials and Gen Xers worry about the lack of scientific proof behind the reliability of vaccine passports.
47% thought that vaccine passports could, to some extent, be an effective tool against the virus, but 59% said they had some reservations about their introduction. These included concerns that it is unclear how effective vaccines are in stopping transmission, fears that not everyone will be able to access the vaccine, and concerns about data privacy.