Courier editorials: A vaccine passport? Challenge accepted.

As the province and the country slog through the vaccination process, a conversation I’ve had with increased frequency is that of vaccine passports looming on the horizon. I have absolutely no idea if that will indeed happen, I know governments, both provincial, federal and international, are having the conversation as to what precisely that would look like.

And frankly, I will be surprised if it doesn’t happen. As the world slowly starts to edge towards functioning in full, it would be ludicrous to assume governments would go from mandating closures, masks, and physical distancing to no protocols and safety nets whatsoever in place.

The bulk of cases in New Brunswick can be directly linked to travel, and I suspect it’s similar across the country and around the world. New Zealand, which has been functioning as “normal” for months, puts much of its success to having shut down its borders at the outset of the pandemic. Strict protocols were put in place and followed and the result was the island nation managed to largely nip the pandemic in the bud.

Other Western countries didn’t do the same (yes, I realize it’s more simple for an island), and travel has been a fantastic way for COVID-19 to make its way around the globe.

The point is vaccines mitigate transmission rates and the symptoms of COVID-19 should you contract it, and having a passport which indicates you are fully vaccinated offers a degree of safety not found in those who have chosen to opt out.

So, if and when it happens, don’t be surprised. Everyone I’ve spoken to on the issue has the same response; if it allows for travel and movies and hockey, then do it.

In fact, I’ve not had a conversation debating the should we/shouldn’t we, or any feelings on the subject. It’s been the pragmatic approach across the board that if a vaccine passport is what it will take to make that final shift we’re looking for, then a vaccine passport it will be.

And to those who cry discrimination, well, you have been offered opportunity and access to the vaccine. In making the choice not to, and while I stand behind your right to make that choice, you must also be prepared to face any consequences stemming from the decision.

For my money? I’ll carry whatever I have to so I can once again stand on the seafront in Portsmouth, gorging on battered sausages and fighting off seagulls. I can’t wait, passport and all.

Krisi Marples