Japan is mulling Covid-19 vaccination travel passports
Sawako Utsumi and Sawako Uchida
Modern Tokyo Times
The Japanese government is mulling the issuing of coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccination passports for international travel. Similarly, the European Union (EU) is touting a similar policy and other nations outside of this trade bloc.
However, with vaccinations obviously in their infancy regarding coronavirus then many doubts persist. This applies to the longevity of respective vaccinations, possible side effects of vaccines – will vaccinate people pass on the virus while being immune themselves – and other related areas. Not to mention if current vaccinations will work against more potent strains of the coronavirus.
Taro Kono, the minister responsible for the coronavirus inoculation program, uttered, “If such passports become used globally, Japan would have to think about doing the same.”
Kono implied that the vaccination travel passport will only apply to international travel. Hence, internal travel will be outside of the new proposal that is in the pipeline.
Like all nations, a minority of people in Japan either don’t want to take the vaccine – or they are waiting until longer clinical trials provide adequate information. People are also monitoring the results emanating from countries including Israel and the United Kingdom who are vaccinating people in high numbers. Therefore, many individuals await more information because of the speed of vaccines concerning the need to stem the international coronavirus pandemic.
Other issues persist including civil liberties and discrimination against people not taking the coronavirus vaccine. Hence, national governments need to weigh up all options rather than blanket guidelines that enforce by stealth.
Nobody doubts the need for international vaccines to quell the coronavirus with over 2.6 million deaths. However, currently little is known about the longevity of vaccines, long-term side effects, if current vaccines will protect against new variants, and can vaccinated people spread the virus to non-vaccinated people.
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