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The Ethics of Vaccine Passports

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In general terms a vaccine passport is proof that a person has been immunized that allows a person access or entry that would otherwise be restricted. The use and requirements of these passports varies greatly from place to place. New York has tested an app version of a passport to allow access to professional sports games. The governors of Florida and Texas have, as one would imagine, signed executive orders banning the government from issuing them and using the coercive power of the state to forbid business from requiring them. As such, the situation is effectively chaos. While Fox News and others on the right have used hyperbole and falsehoods to make vaccine passports into a firestorm political issue, there are rational ethical concerns about such passports. While one might wonder why the right does not rationally advance such moral concerns, the easy and obvious reasons are that these generally do not match up with the espoused values of the right and most this sort of moral reasoning extremely dull when compared to the engaging and enraging power of hyperbole and outright lies. Now, to the moral issues. As noted above, New York has been testing an app version of a vaccine passport. This raises a clear moral concern about access to such passports. A person would need to have a phone capable of running such an app. While many will assume that everyone has easy access to such phones, this is not the case. There are people who prefer to use basic phones that do not run such apps and there are even people who lack phones. If the scope of concern extends beyond the United States, the matter becomes even more serious. Fortunately, there is an easy way to address this issue—physical proof of vaccination can be issued. This does lead to other problems, such as the practical matter of integrating all the various methods of proof in an effective way. But this is on par with identifying documentation from diverse sources and could be managed. But to even have a. . .

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News source: A Philosopher's Blog

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