IN FOCUS Discussion: COVID-19 vaccine passports

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – With more than 2 million COVID-19 vaccines administered across the state of Utah so far, more and more people want to resume pre-pandemic activities as we inch closer to herd immunity. However, there are still limitations in some places, leading to the discussion of a “vaccine passport.” The piece of documentation, which would show proof of vaccination, could allow individuals to be admitted into large social gatherings and events such as concerts, sporting games, and even international travel. But experts note that there could be drawbacks to this concept.

Two guests join ABC4’s Glen Mills for an IN FOCUS discussion about “vaccine passports.” The first guest is Leslie Francis, distinguished professor of law and philosophy at the University of Utah. The second guest is James Tabery, associate professor of philosophy at the University of Utah.

In part 1 of the discussion, Francis and Tabery talk about the rationale behind creating the vaccine passports, whether they’ve been deployed anywhere else in the world, if anything similar to this concept has been used in the past, what a vaccine passport would actually look like, and how this piece of documentation relates to the current timing of the pandemic.

In part 2, the guests discuss how vaccine passports would be authenticated, the relevancy of the vaccines being administered under an FDA emergency-use authorization, how a vaccine passport would keep up with new variants and strains of the virus, and the difference between governmental and private implementation of a vaccine passport.

In part 3, they address privacy concerns with vaccine passports, racial health disparities, the disadvantages to those who are low-tech, how this concept would impact those who can’t get vaccinated for health reasons, and the likelihood that vaccine passports would actually be implemented in the near-future.

To watch the full IN FOCUS discussion with Francis and Tabery, click on the video at the top of the article.

Catch IN FOCUS discussions with ABC4’s Rosie Nguyen weeknights on the CW30 News at 7 p.m.

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