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'Scientifically flawed': 22 examples of the failure of vaccine passports

By Vratesh Srivastava*  

Vaccine passports were introduced in late 2021 in a number of places across the world, with the primary objective of curtailing community spread and inducing "vaccine hesitant" people to get vaccinated, ostensibly to ensure herd immunity.
The case for vaccine passports was scientifically flawed and ethically questionable.
For those who had closely followed clinical trials as well as Covid-19 waves, both the above arguments were flawed scientifically and easily refutable on the following counts: 
  1. The clinical trials had not tested the Covid-19 vaccines for impact on community transmission. Hence, the assertion that "vaccines reduced community transmission" lacked a scientific basis.
  2. By the time vaccine passports were being implemented, highly vaccinated countries like Seychelles and Israel had experienced massive covid waves despite an overwhelming majority of eligible population being fully vaccinated. Israel was one of the first countries to roll out the booster. These examples completely negated the unscientific view around herd immunity.
  3. Despite the question mark around impact on transmission, the ethical case against vaccine passports was for infringing on bodily autonomy as vaccine passports served as a coercive tool. Additionally, given the EUA (emergency use authorization) status, measures like these could possibly result in severe physical harms to a certain proportion of the coerced vaccinated population. It also was not consistent with the principle of informed consent.
  4. Profit making pharmaceutical companies were provided government backed liability protection in many countries. Coercing people to consume potentially harmful products of companies that could not be held liable clearly was a big red flag in terms of safety of the vaccines.
The statement  by a passenger on a cruise ship where a Covid-19 outbreak occurred pretty much sums up the misinformation people were fed about the vaccine acting as a barrier against community transmission: "I am wondering how you can possibly get Covid-19 on a ship that's 100% vaccinated."
So how did the implementation of vaccine passports and vaccine mandates pan out? Here are 22 examples: 
Example 1: In October 2021, in Darlington, New South Wales,15 Covid-19 cases were linked to a gym that required members and staff to be fully vaccinated.
Example 2: In October 2021, 15 people caught Covid-19 and 1 died in a fully vaccinated hockey league in Ontario, Canada.
Example 3: In November 2021, 40% of the members in the fully vaccinated Ottawa Senators team tested positive for Covid-19.
Example 4: In November 2021, Western University in Ontario, that required student residents to be fully vaccinated, reported a Covid-19 outbreak in its residence.
Example 5: In December 2021, in Norway, out of 100 vaccinated people in a Christmas table, 60 tested positive.
Example 6: In December 2021, in Windsor, Ontario, 42 people tested positive after attending a birthday party that required vaccine passports.
Example 7: In December 2021, in a cruise in New Orleans where crew and passengers were fully vaccinated, 17 members tested positive.
Example 8: In December 2021, Covid-19 outbreak was reported in a fire station in Toronto, Ontario. The firefighters were vaccinated as per the vaccine mandate, unvaccinated workers had been suspended.
Example 9: In December 2021, a Covid-19 outbreak was linked a wedding in Wisconsin attended by fully vaccinated people.
Example 10: In December 2021, Covid-19 outbreak was reported in a liberal arts college in Vermont where nearly 100% of the students were fully vaccinated.
Example 11: In December 2021, Covid-19 outbreak was reported in Toronto police where a vaccine mandate requiring staff to be fully vaccinated was implemented.
Example 12: In December 2021, Queen's University in Kingston Ontario, that has implemented a vaccine mandate, canceled in-person exams after a Covid-19 outbreak.
Example 13: In December 2021, Cornell University in US shut down its campus after a Covid outbreak, despite 99% of faculty and graduates being vaccinated.
Example 14: In December 2021, the NHL team Calgary Flames in Canada had 17 players on "Covid protocol" despite the entire team being fully vaccinated.
Example 15: In December 2021, at a gathering related to a Taylor Swift album release in Australia that had implemented vaccination requirements for ticket holders, there was a Covid-19 outbreak with 97 people testing positive.
Example 16: In December 2021, Quebec closed a number of places where vaccine passport policies had been implemented including bars, gyms and casinos due to Covid-19 outbreaks.
Example 17: In December 2021, Covid-19 outbreak was reported in highly vaccinated setting in Houston Methodist in the US.
Example 18: In December 2021, Covid-19 outbreaks were reported in 3 separate cruises that required staff and all eligible passengers to be fully vaccinated.
Example 19: In December 2021, in Alberta, Canada, the Junior World Hockey Championship was canceled. 98% of players and staff were vaccinated, and spectators were required to be fully vaccinated.
Example 20: In April 2022, a Covid-19 outbreak was reported in a Caribbean Cruise that required all eligible passengers and crew to be vaccinated.
Example 21: In August 2022, Several Covid-19 outbreaks were reported in Google's offices that required employees physically attending offices to be vaccinated.
Example 22: In November 2022, cruise ship in Australia that required eligible crew and staff to be fully vaccinated reported over 800 fully vaccinated cases.


Clearly, if reduction in community transmission was the goal, then the above examples signify that this purpose was not achieved. On the contrary, a study of healthcare staff from Cleveland Clinic actually showed that the risk of Covid-19 increased with the number of doses previously received, a finding that turns the argument for restricting unvaccinated to curtail community transmission upside down.
In conclusion, Kieran Moore, the Chief Medical Officer of Health in Ontario, summed up the main goal nicely with the  quote, "Their intended purpose was to improve immunization", i.e. vaccine passports had nothing to do with keeping community transmission in check or achieving herd immunity.
Which brings us to the question -- why were people coerced to jab?
*Content Manager of the social media handle @anhoneerahasya on Twitter and the channel “India’s Forgotten Babies” on Telegram. His research on polio vaccines in India has featured in the 10th anniversary edition of the best seller “Dissolving Illusions”. All references can be found on the author’s substack 



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