Now that more and more of the world is getting the COVID-19 vaccine, there’s been quite a bit of talk about how to make sure as many people as possible get the shots. In the US, Joe Biden has taken quite a bit of flak for floating the idea of vaccine passports. This weekend UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson did the same. It didn’t take long for social media users to voice their extreme displeasure at the idea.
The concept of a vaccine passport would mean that for people to travel internationally, and perhaps even domestically, they would have to present their vaccination card. This would show authorities that the risk of the travelers spreading the coronavirus was minimal.
However, some are kicking around an expansion of the vaccine passport program. According to the Evening Standard, Johnson recently ditched the idea of also requiring the vaccine passports at bars and restaurants. However, that doesn’t mean the PM has given up on the idea of vaccine passports entirely.
Football cup finals, the World Snooker Championship, a comedy club and at least one movie theater will be used as test subjects for the idea. That means that only those with vaccine passports will be allowed to enter. The UK government will fully unveil how the program works on Monday. It’s said it might use an app, rather than require people to carry papers. Despite the technological adaptation, the program is being met with extreme hostility.
Vaccine Passports Equals Fascism?
More than a few people claimed the program is fascist on social media.
“Since #NoVaccinePassports is trending let me spit some truth,” rapper Big Nik wrote on Twitter. “I don’t care if you get a vaccine or not. I’m not here to debate with you. But if this vaccine hysteria infringes on my rights, that’s a problem. I will never bow down to fascism in the name of “health safety.”
Others soon followed suit.
“Show us your health papers” is about as dystopian and fascist as it gets. #NoVaccinePassports
— James Melville 🌸 (@JamesMelville) April 3, 2021
The biggest complaint about the UK starting up the program is that they feel it violates citizens’ privacy.
Your vaccine records should be between you and your physician, NOT the government. #NoVaccinePassports
— Representative Mike Loychik (@MikeLoychik) April 4, 2021
“There is nothing proportional about forcing an entire population to be vaccinated with ‘freedom passport’ coercion,” another Twitter user wrote. “Against a virus that kills less than 0.3 percent and where those vulnerable to it, have already been vaccinated against it.”
Another posted specifically addressed the idea of a comedy club being part of the pilot program.
“If I can only promote comedy shows under a form of apartheid,” he wrote. “I won’t be putting any on. Everyone’s welcome or no one is.”
For now, despite these protestations, Johnson seems to be moving full speed ahead. However, pushback already caused him to dial back the vaccine passports program. It’s possible more pressure could make Johnson dial it back further.
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