No one can predict the future, but we can learn much from history that will help us navigate the present. History has shown that awarding governments with totalitarian power over people leads to bad outcomes; and, if those decisions are predicated on fear, near-sightedness, or occur during a crisis, the consequences are often grave. In a rush to avoid COVID-19, we have witnessed many irrational, contradictory, and even destructive decisions made by elected officials but perhaps none more dangerous than vaccine passports (VPs). Already issued in places like Quebec, Canada, and Paris, France, vaccine passports are used to limit travel and bar the unvaccinated from numerous businesses, services and employment. Universities are beginning to require vaccine passports for students enrolled in their programs. The Canadian federal government has also announced that it is developing a VP for international travel, and possibly for domestic use. While everyone from totalitarian opportunists, to angry vaccinated people who are tired of lockdowns, to worn-down ICU staff who are weary of being overworked, may applaud VPs as the responsible thing to do, citizens and officials should reject them outright.
25 Reasons to reject vaccine passports
Vaccine passport programs are dangerous because:
- The government takes on the role of physician: Mandatory VPs deny family doctors the ability to individually assess patient health and offer medical recommendations unique to each patient. Why should the government have greater say over personal health than our own physicians? As with viruses, vaccines impact each person’s biology and body type differently, and pose unique risks.
- Medicine is blended with politics: VPs grant control over our health to medically untrained elected officials and government-employed physicians, none of whom are immune to political pressure. Unlike dictatorial governments, no Western national government has ever resorted to such invasive totalitarian controls, and this should concern us. Do we really want to wed medical procedures to re-election campaigns and party politics?
- Manufacturer liability is dismissed: Once mandated, citizens will have no legal recourse to hold governments or vaccine producers accountable for potential side effects. And, how can the consumer trust the quality of future products or know that adequate testing has been performed when the government has already guaranteed manufacturers the sale of their vaccines?
- Manufacturers have access to limitless profits: VPs will grant vaccine producers exclusive access to limitless financial profits. They deny both a fair market share to producers of alternative treatments and disincentive research into future medical treatments for COVID-19.
- Natural immunity becomes irrelevant: Millions of people have recovered from COVID-19 and possess natural immunity. VPs fail to acknowledge that. Why require everyone with COVID-19 antibodies to receive a synthetic vaccine? Humans have relied on natural immunity for thousands of years to combat illnesses, and while many vaccines have proven effective, why treat the body’s natural disease-fighting system dismissively?
- Bodily autonomy is denied: VPs fail to honour bodily autonomy as an unalienable, human right. Even the Supreme Court of Canada, ruling on HIV-positive persons-has determined that the hypothetical risk of HIV disease transmission is an insufficient reason to divulge one’s health status. For example, people with HIV are not even requiredto disclose their infection to a sexual partner unless there is a realistic possibility of transmission (i.e. high viral load, or failure to use a condom). And yet, vaccine passports would require a person with no COVID-19 viral load, and who is not unnecessary exposing others to the risk of transmission, to prove they are immunized.
- They are costly to taxpayers: They will unnecessarily cost taxpayers money to produce, administer and enforce.
- Underground economies will emerge: They will create underground economies as people who refuse mRNA vaccines find other ways to access goods, services and entertainment.
- They set a dangerous precedent: VPs set a dangerous precedent by effectively forcing vaccines on entire populations, even though the vaccines have not been subjected to long-term analysis. What guarantees do we have that annual vaccinations or other invasive medical treatments will not be enforced by future governments (as determined exclusively by an elite group of politicians and experts)?
- They encourage scientific censorship: Mass vaccinations are a significant ingredient in the response most governments have to COVID-19. As witnessed multiple times over the past year, physicians and scientists who express dissenting opinions are threatened with the loss of their licences or censored. The introduction of VPs into law will serve to further censor and silence dissenting scientific voices who may have valid objections we need to consider.
- They invalidate personal responsibility: Even if mRNA vaccines prove highly effective with minimal side effects, VPs fail to acknowledge that unvaccinated people have the right to be wrong about the medical treatments they choose for their own bodies. And, if vaccines are effective, then vaccinated persons need not worry about controlling the choices of the unvaccinated population. Each person must take personal responsibility for their own choices, and the notion that the unvaccinated are a threat to the vaccinated is unproven.
- They are not required to save ICUs: If vaccines prove efficacious on the 70%+ who have already been vaccinated, then only 30% or less of the population remains at risk. In light of the high survival rates for COVID-19 even priorto the vaccine rollout, it appears unlikely for ICUs to be overwhelmed during future viral waves as only a small fraction of the remaining unvaccinated would be at risk of hospitalization. The only way for ICUs to reach capacities is for significant numbers of vaccinated people to become infected, thereby proving the failure of vaccination programs.
- They are not scientific: While mRNA vaccines represent one potentially valid scientific response to disease, vaccine passports are political in nature, because they exist to coerce and control the behaviour of populations, rather than treat illness. Politicians all know this, and so while elected officials all have access to the same medical data, we are witnessing a variety of political responses, including the utilization of polls to measure public opinion. This is an important consideration because citizens who would otherwise grimace at the idea of vaccine passports may feel pressured to accept them under the false premise that they are scientifically necessary. In actual fact they represent bad political policy, and should be amply debated and criticized as such.
- They legalize discrimination: In a country with a long track record of seeking to stamp out inequality and discrimination, treating vaccinated and unvaccinated people differently is discriminatory. Since when is a vaccine required to access a theatre, church service, attend a ball game, or find employment?
- They create the potential for civil unrest: VPs could result in violent uprisings. While no one wants to witness civil unrest, history has shown that populations of people who are subjected to excessive state control, lack of access to gainful employment, forced medical treatments, denial of liberty, denial of the right to move or travel, and exposed to social isolation sometimes resort to violence. Finding solutions that permit peaceful coexistence is the preferred way forward, and reduces the risk of civil unrest.
- Coercive medicine is banned: Medical coercion is illegal, period. Modern medical treatments require informed and voluntary consent free from manipulation. Vaccine passports fail that test miserably.
- Charter freedoms cannot be permanently denied: They would effectively serve to permanently limit Charter freedoms, including freedom of conscience. Provincial restrictions limiting inter-provincial travel already temporarily violate the aforementioned Charter mobility rights, and vaccine passports would potentially do so permanently.
- Religious freedoms would be violated: They fail to protect religious groups whose beliefs forbid them from seeking medical treatment from the government.
- They stigmatize and target people: They unfairly target unvaccinated people as a risk to public health, while permitting people with other communicable diseases or histories of criminal behaviour to freely interact in public with anonymity. Why do we not have vaccine passports for all other diseases, or crime passports outlining past criminal convictions? Because we understand the dangers of creating different classes of people in a free and open society.
- They reflect the behaviour of despots: VPs reflect the behaviour of despotic tyrants. Requiring vaccine passports to fully access the economy, employment and worship venues sounds eerily similar to the dehumanizing controls of communist China or the biblical descriptions of a despotic ruler forcing people to receive a mark in order to buy and sell. Vaccination programs that penalize the non-compliant with economic and social limitations are innately tyrannical.
- They deny parental authority: They violate parental authority, as government agencies are permitted to manipulate children into receiving vaccines without parental authority or access to a child’s medical history. Will we permit government officials to usurp parental authority and act as father and mother to our children?
- There are potential and known risks: Passports seek to address potential risks but create potential risks in otherwise healthy people. Risks include side effects like myocarditis, strokes, blood clots, and possible fertility issues in women. While most medical treatments have risks attached, why coerce healthy people, at very low risk of dying from COVID-19, to take a vaccine they do not require?
- There is insufficient study and consultation: VP programs have not been debated openly in houses of government or subjected to systematic studies by third parties free from political liability. Instead they have been rapidly adopted in Western democracies based on political expediency and narrow-minded thinking. Rushed policy of this magnitude is foolhardy and irresponsible.
- The government shows little interest in actual health: Since governments show little interest in banning other known activities that spread disease and burden the healthcare system including smoking, alcoholism, overeating, or sexual promiscuity, how can we trust that vaccine passport programs are administered out of love for neighbour? Could it be that fear, the need for control, idolization of medicine, and party politics are among the actual motives behind VPs? Most assuredly they are, and principled people must not participate in the erasure of personal liberties for these reasons.
- They could be permanent: If history has shown us anything, it is that government controls are long-lasting. VPs could become permanent, and probably will, unless citizens resist. With no expiry dates on vaccine passport programs, who would relish the idea of producing medical documents for travel and shopping, potentially for years to come?
Vaccine passports should be rejected as nearsighted and dangerous. Not only should churches, businesses, universities, trade guilds and medical professionals speak out against them, but federal and provincial governments should pass legislation banning their implementation entirely. Call your elected members of government, protest, and refuse to allow VPs to become a part of the new normal in Western democracies.