Over the past year, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding vaccine passports. Although they haven’t been made compulsory yet, they have been brought into effect in some sectors. So, what are vaccine passports, and do you need one? Find out everything you need to know below…
What are vaccine passports?
A vaccine passport is designed to show your vaccination status, alongside any tests results you undergo. It is basically proof that you are free from coronavirus, and you won’t pass it on to others.
You can get both digital and paper copies of the pass, and there are different types available. One type is designed for travel, while the other is a domestic pass. So, what’s the difference between them?
A vaccine passport for travel is based on vaccine status only. It requires you to have had either 1 or 2 doses of the jab. It includes the Moderna, Pfizer, Janssen, and the AstraZeneca vaccines.
A domestic passport can be provided after having the vaccine, or by testing negative for coronavirus. You can use this for travelling around the UK and getting into certain venues.
Do you need one?
If you don’t have a vaccine passport yet, don’t worry they aren’t legally required. However, it could stop you from travelling to see friends and family, or from getting into events.
Recently, the government announced its plans to make vaccine passports compulsory to get into nightclubs. However, concern has been raised over the plan, which has seen a huge public backlash. Whether or not vaccine passports will become compulsory remains to be seen. So far, it isn’t looking likely due to a high number of MPs challenging the decision.
Whether or not they become compulsory, you might still like to get one. This is especially true if you love to travel as proof that you are Covid-free will be required. To help you decide whether it’s right for you, let’s take a look at the pros and cons…
The pros and cons of a vaccine passport
Like anything in life, there are pros and cons you’ll need to consider when looking into covid passports. Here, we’ll look briefly at the arguments for and against vaccine passports so you can make the most informed decision.
The pros of getting a passport include:
- You’ll be able to travel more freely
- Access to more potential work opportunities
- To provide reassurance to others
Travelling is something we have all missed over the past year and a half. Now that things are starting to open up more, you may be desperate to head off on a much-needed getaway. However, due to the high risk of spreading the virus through travel, strict requirements remain within the sector. A vaccine passport will therefore be needed if you do plan on travelling abroad.
Another benefit is that you’ll be able to apply for more work opportunities. Although many restrictions have been lifted, getting vaccinated is still necessary for some sectors. Recently, it has been made compulsory for healthcare workers to have their vaccines. This is understandable as they work with the most vulnerable. So, if you’re looking to get into the healthcare or hospitality sectors, you would benefit from getting a vaccine passport.
Additionally, the passport provides reassurance to others. It shows you are taking precautions to prevent the spread and worsening of Covid-19. So, what about the potential cons of getting one? The main arguments against vaccine passports are:
- There is currently insufficient evidence that the vaccines work
- A passport may not cover new variants
- They are seen as discrimination against those who don’t want the vaccine
- Your data might be shared with third parties
Although initial findings have shown that vaccines help to reduce the impact of the virus, it isn’t known how much they reduce the spread. In fact, right now if you have the vaccine you can still catch Covid-19, as well as pass it on. So, having a passport to show you are vaccinated doesn’t necessarily mean that you are safe from the virus.
The fact that it might not cover new variants is also a concern for some. It would effectively make the passport a waste of time. However, currently, the vaccines have been shown to protect against the different variations. So, getting a vaccine passport will still benefit you in the short term.
Finally, there is some concern that patient data may be shared with outside companies. This could be a security issue moving forward. These ethical concerns need to be addressed, but right now it isn’t a huge issue.
These are the main pros and cons to think about when trying to decide whether a vaccine passport is right for you.
How can you apply for a vaccine passport?
If you do want to apply for a vaccine passport, the method you’ll need to follow will depend upon the type of passport you need.
A travel passport will require 2 doses of the vaccine and you will need to have been jabbed in England. The rules are different in Wales and Scotland, so you’ll need to refer to your local NHS information if you reside in these countries. After having your second jab, you will be able to apply for a passport within 24 hours. However, keep in mind that there may be a delay of up to 5 days before you receive the results.
For domestic vaccine passports, you can either apply after having both doses of the jab or after undergoing testing. If you are taking a home testing kit from www.medicspot.co.uk, for example, you can apply for a passport within 48 hours of a negative result.
As for how you apply, you can do it on the NHS website, on the NHS app, or by asking your GP. It’s important to check you are applying on the official NHS app or website. There has been an increase in Covid-related scams, so it pays to be vigilant.
Overall, vaccine passports are controversial, but at the moment they do provide some benefits. If you are looking to travel, attend a venue and regain more freedom, apply for a vaccine passport today.
What are your thoughts on vaccine passports? Drop a comment below to share your opinion…