I’ve written a comment piece for Mail+ today about why the PM should shelve his plans for vaccine passports. I think that’s unlikely, given that Nicola Sturgeon has just announced Scotland will be introducing them for large indoor and outdoor venues later this month, but let’s hope Boris grows a pair. Here is an extract:
We now have strong evidence that the Covid vaccines don’t hugely prevent you getting infected or infecting others. If they did, Israel and Iceland would not currently be in the midst of their biggest waves so far. After all, both countries have been world leaders when it comes to vaccinating their populations against COVID-19, with 72.9% of Iceland’s population being double jabbed and 60.6% of Israel’s.
The number of daily Covid deaths in both countries is lower than it was in earlier waves, suggesting the vaccines reduce the risk of dying from the disease. But the early trial data suggesting they cut the risk of infection by more than 90% seems inaccurate.
Vaccine passports do not stop people in nightclubs from infecting each other, but they might lull customers into a false sense of security, persuading them to throw caution to the wind.
Another problem with Boris’s proposal is that the protection the vaccines give you starts to wear off after about six months, hence the Government’s recent order for 35 million booster shots from Pfizer. It’s one thing asking people to get double-jabbed in return for a vaccine passport, quite another to insist they’ll have to renew those passports by getting a booster every six months.
I doubt the NHS’s computer system would be able to cope. Earlier this week, more than 700,000 people were affected by technical glitches, meaning they weren’t able to download an NHS ‘Covid Pass’ in spite of being double-jabbed.
Worth reading in full.
By Toby Young / 1 September 2021
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