Vaccine Passports Backfire — The Case of Israel shows That

Israelis had every reason to be optimistic – we were the first country in the world to achieve mass vaccination against Covid-19 and, thus, “normality” seemed within reach. Alas, a digital vaccination ID called the “Green Pass” was introduced as a prerequisite for returning to normal life. The Israeli Ministry of Health used two reasons to justify the need for this Green Pass: first, to enable and expedite the reopening of businesses by creating safe “green spaces” only for vaccinated individuals and, second, to pressure those hesitating to get the jab.

Theatres, pools, sports events, bars and restaurants were instructed to deny entrance to those not carrying a Green Pass. In some places, there are designated areas for the unvaccinated, and “vaccinated only” signs have appeared even on public seats at the Tel-Aviv beach. Israel now has two classes of citizens, the upper vaccinated and the lower unvaccinated. [This ran in late May, shortly before the vaccine passport was abolished.]

The Green Pass was promoted with a clear message: getting the shot is the right choice. Those who refuse it are immoral, therefore, and excluding them is legitimate. The campaign to promote vaccination was often scientifically inaccurate and ethically questionable, exaggerating the danger posed by the virus to the lowest risk groups such as young, healthy students.

An atmosphere of intolerance took over. Companies announced that unvaccinated staff would be fired. Some universities banned unvaccinated students from in-person lectures. An esteemed researcher could not attend a conference that he had helped organise because he was not vaccinated. School teachers are being publicly condemned and forced to cease teaching until vaccinated. Those who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons are unable to return to the new “normal” life.

The coercive measures had a paradoxical effect. Traditionally, the Israeli public has a remarkably high adherence to routine vaccinations. However, the heated debate related to the Green Pass, along with public shaming, has led to resentment and anger. Thus, a substantially greater number of young Israeli citizens, who would have never considered refusing a vaccine recommended by their GP, have refused the Covid-19 shots, and are more attentive to anti-vaccination ideology, which may impede future vaccination adherence.

It also seems as if some of the conspiracy theorists weren’t entirely wrong – with the Green Pass you do get a sort of a chip, but in the form of a QR code that is scanned each time you enter a designated area and is designed to link to a national database. A proof of ID is required to verify the passholder’s identity, violating both location-privacy and medical confidentiality.

There is no rational public health case for the Green Pass. The risk of being infected with SARS-Cov-2 from an infected to a vaccinated individual is minimal, and even if infected, the most probable clinical outcome for the vaccinated is a very mild self-limiting disease or even an asymptomatic state.

Vaccine efficacy in preventing severe disease is always higher than its efficacy in preventing infection, since in order to become ill a person must first become infected. Therefore, if the vaccine’s protective capacity against a disease decreases significantly, for example due to a new resistant variant, vaccinated individuals will become as infectious as the unvaccinated. In other words, there is either no ground to distance unvaccinated from vaccinated, or there is ground to distance everybody, vaccinated or not.

If there is anything the UK should learn from the Israeli experiment, it is that vaccination passes are irreconcilable with the basic principles of the medical profession. Coercion has replaced autonomy, punishment has replaced compassion, checkpoints have replaced confidentiality, segregation has replaced inclusion. Liberal forces from Right to Left are trying to reverse this course of events. Several appeals have been submitted to the Israeli supreme court, all asking to declare the Green Pass disproportionate.

The arrival of vaccines had the potential to end controversial measures jeopardising individual rights, but with Covid passes, we now have yet another fight on our hands – for medical ethics, human rights and common sense.

Rivka Carmi is a professor of medicine, and president of Ben-Gurion University. Asa Kasher is professor emeritus of professional ethics and philosophy at Tel Aviv University. Eitan Friedman is a professor of medicine and chair of the Ministry of Health’s Supreme Helsinki Committee. Yoav Yehezkelli is a specialist in internal medicine and medical management, and a lecturer at Tel Aviv University. Udi Qimron is the head of the Department of Clinical Immunology and Clinical Microbiology at Tel Aviv University

Source: The Telegraph

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  • ken

    “It also seems as if some of the conspiracy theorists weren’t entirely wrong “

    That’s nice considering….

    The fictional virus has not been isolated and proven to cause the disease.
    Conspiracy fact.

    The PCR test cannot determine infection of any disease per inventor Kary Mullis.
    Conspiracy fact.

    No such thing as infected asymptomatic. Even Typhoid Mary had symptoms.
    Conspiracy fact.

    The fictional virus has a 99.87% survival rate. No vaccines necessary.
    Conspiracy fact.

    Never before in history has a yearly disease (flu) been eliminated and another (covid) has take its place with the same symptoms.
    Conspiracy fact.

    And their sources are: a professor of medicine,,, professor of ethics (lol),,, professor of internal medicine,and lecturer (oh boy!),,, and the head of a clinical immunology!

    They’re handing out these titles like candy at Halloween these days,,, by the handful!

    • Juan

      Source for Typhoid Mary’s symptoms? can’t find any. Every site I found says the same: she showed no symptoms.

  • Raptar Driver

    The beast turns on the harlot.
    Most of you will be dead soon.
    Don’t blame anyone, you took the poison willingly and with much glee.

  • Juan

    So what? since Israel has had a multi tiered society (Tier A jewish, tier B and C ethiopian/sephardi jewish buddies, arab disposable “citizens”, and finally occupied “untermenschen”) for many decades now, why is this such a scandal?

  • Mark

    The author apparently supposes that getting vaccinated is ‘common sense’ and laments only that coercive measures hardened attitudes against common sense prevailing.

    The whole grotesque boondoggle reminds me of that 70’s era experiment in understanding discrimination, in which children with blue eyes were encouraged to segregate from children with brown eyes and to regard them as inferior. If someone had told me five years ago that it could be repeated on an international and adult scale, I would have laughed. But I saw graphic examples in my local paper’s letters to the editor, calling for medical care to be refused for those who would not mask up if they became ill, and encouraging the most unimaginable levels of intolerance. Now I wouldn’t cross the street to spit on those people if they were on fire. They are eager to embrace a two-tiered social system in which those who will not take their bug-juice are despised, and probably would have made good Nazi collaborators in that setting. So for all those who thought that level of mob mentality could never happen again – sure it could. It’s not even hard.