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While in principle I agree that vaccine passports can be used (and are in use in many countries to check incoming travellers), and I also agree that it is likely to be counter-productive, I am going to argue that in this case a specific part of your argument doesn't work.

It is this sub-sentence I take issue with:

it is a vindication of the human rights of others to be protected from unnecessary risk of harm.

The substance of the sentence is true - others have the right to be protected from unnecessary risk - but I don't think it applies here.

The current level of protection from the vaccines doesn't appear to give much - if any - protection against catching and spreading the virus. Where Omicron spreads, number of cases rise in both vaccinated and unvaccinated alike (I can give examples if the point is contested, but it takes some digging). There is significant protection against grave illness and death (which IIRC was also what they tested for in the studies before the vaccines were released).

So the vaccinated people in a pub doesn't get a health benefit from a no-unvaccinated rule, they are as likely to catch the virus from any of the vaccinated who are there as they would from unvaccinated. (If the vaccines were so good that you effectively could get not the virus if you are vaccinated, the vaccinated wouldn't get infected at all, but the vaccines are not that good.)

If anyone gets a health benefit it is the unvaccinated that doesn't go to the pub and doesn't catch covid. One can argue (but that isn't the argument you were making) that there is a overall health benefit from not infecting the unvaccinated, in that the hospitals aren't taxed beyond their means. But if the vaccinated gather and increase the spread in society, that makes it more likely that they infect someone unvaccinated at the grocery store. So then we are back to closing the pubs.

And that is really my main objection to covid passports. I don't think they decrease spread, I think they increase spread by lulling people into a false sense of security and allowing unsafe activities as if they were safe. Either you can run a pub with rules that minimise spread, or you can't. And if you can't you either allow it anyway (because Irish needs pubs), or you don't.

by fjallstrom on Tue Jan 18th, 2022 at 10:51:54 AM EST

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