Americans will need vaccine passport to travel to Europe

By Art Moore

United States Customs and Border Protection officers at Vancouver International Airport in Canada (Wikimedia Commons)

The European Union will reopen its borders to American tourists this summer, but visitors will need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen told the New York Times in a report Sunday the 27 member states of the EU will accept travelers who are vaccinated with vaccines approved by the EU’s European Medicines Agency.

The EMA has approved the three vaccines in use in the U.S., manufactured by Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson. The AstraZeneca vaccine authorized by European regulators is awaiting approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

U.S. and EU officials are discussing the creation of a vaccine certificate, or “passport,” that would be required for international travel, the Times reported.

Many who have chosen not to get a COVID-19 shot have pointed out that people with certain characteristics, including pregnant women, are more vulnerable than others to the adverse affects compiled by VAERS, the U.S. government’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System. They argue that each individual, in consulation with a doctor, has a right to make a personal cost-benefit analysis, particularly regarding a virus with a nearly 100% survivability rate for the average healthy person.

A new report published by Microbiology and Infectious Disease found the mRNA vaccines could trigger Alzheimer’s disease, ALS  and other neurological and cognitive degenerative diseases, the Gateway Pundit reported Monday.

The Times said it has not been determined how travelers will certify they have been vaccinated.

Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Kyle Massey, assigned to the submarine tender USS Emory S. Land, administers the first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to Machinist Mate 3rd Class Brandy Mingus, also assigned to Emory S. Land, at Mare Island Dry Dock, in Vallejo, California, March 18, 2021. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Zachary Grooman)

The Biden administration has insisted it will not issue a government vaccine passport. But it has been cooperating with corporations that have indicated they plan to require them. The Biden administration reportedly is working on a way to standardize a vaccine ID process, the Washington Post reported in April. The paper said the administration and private companies, “from cruise lines to sports teams,” could require the passports, which could amount to an app on a smartphone with a scannable code similar to an airline boarding pass.

Israel, China and a number of European nations have proposed vaccine passes for activities such as indoor dining at restaurants and attending sporting events.

Two classes of people

This month, Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order prohibiting any COVID-19 vaccine passports in his state. The move came after he denounced a proposal by some companies and governments to require that people be vaccinated to patronize an establishment.

“It’s completely unacceptable for either the government or the private sector to impose upon you the requirement that you show proof of vaccine to just simply be able to participate in normal society,” DeSantis said.

The governor’s executive order states vaccine passports cannot be required to take part in “everyday life,” including “attending a sporting event, patronizing a restaurant or going to a movie theater.”

The Florida Legislature is working on making the order permanent, DeSantis said in a tweet.

The Republican governor argued that vaccine passports would create two classes of people, and his aim is to protect the “rights and privacies” of residents and allow for the free flow of commerce in the state.

Any business that wants to be eligible for grants or contracts funded through state revenue must comply, the order states.

‘Absolutely unconstitutional’

Earlier this month, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., a practicing physician, urged Americans to throw away their masks and oppose vaccine passports.

“The left has gone completely COVID crazy,” the senator said in a fundraising pitch.

“They want government-enforced shutdowns, mask mandates, school closures, forced vaccines, and now they’re talking about a COVID vaccine passport. It’s absolutely unconstitutional – not to mention, it’s absurd.”

A vaccine passport, he said, would “determine whether or not you’re “ALLOWED” to engage in your everyday life.”

“This is the slippery slope I warned about and it’s exactly what I’m fighting to defeat in Washington,” the Kentucky Republican said.

“I urge everyone to get the vaccine if you need or want it. And then I urge everyone in America to throw away their masks, demand their schools be open, and burn your vaccine passport if they try to give it to you,” he said.

‘The end of human liberty in the West’

In an interview in March, liberal feminist author Naomi Wolf warned a vaccine passport would be “literally the end of human liberty in the West.”

In January, the Financial Times reported Microsoft is part of a coalition of technology and health organizations working on the development of a vaccine passport.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison suggested last August that the vaccine would be mandatory for residents of his country but later backtracked.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top White House coronavirus adviser, said in August he would not support requiring the COVID-19 vaccine nationwide.

“We don’t want to be mandating from the federal government to the general population. It would be unenforceable and not appropriate,” he said.

States, cities and businesses, however, could require vaccination and impose penalties for noncompliance, such as a fine.

In early December, a bill was proposed in the New York State Assembly that would require COVID-19 vaccines for all residents who are able to safely receive it. The move came after the New York State Bar Association recommended the state consider making it mandatory for every resident, except for people exempted by a doctor. In Virginia in August, the health commissioner said the state would mandate the vaccine, but a spokeswoman later said there were no such plans.

The CEO of Australia’s Quantas said in December that proof of vaccination would be a requirement for all international passengers with his airline in the future and others likely would adopt the policy.

However, in a Reuters panel discussion with health experts and tourism authorities on Monday, World Travel and Trade Council CEO Gloria Guevara said she disagreed with “the approach from Qantas.”

“We should never require the vaccination to get a job or to travel,” she said. “If you require the vaccination before travel, that takes us to discrimination.”

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