Are vaccine passports a good idea?
Mar 13th 2021 TheEconomist.com
ON MARCH 7TH, after six months of selling takeaways, the beer was once more flowing in the pizzeria at Bet Romano in Tel Aviv. The bar and restaurant upstairs were packed. Most patrons carried proof that they had received a double dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, but no one asked to see it. At nearby establishments that were trying harder to verify vaccination status, people queued with pieces of paper and smartphones. These contained authorisations from health-care providers; immunisation certificates from the health ministry; and the “green pass”, a government app that confirms vaccination and which is illustrated with a picture of a family frolicking across a verdant landscape.
Israel’s covid-19 vaccination programme has been the world’s fastest. Over half of adults have had at least one jab, and 90% of those over 50 have had both. Anyone aged 16 or over is now eligible for the vaccine. But rather than wait for herd immunity—in which resistance becomes widespread enough to curtail the spread of the virus—the government has, since February 21st, allowed the vaccinated to return to gyms, concert halls, theatres and other indoor venues