The introduction of digital vaccine ID cards would be fairly straightforward technically and would help to open up the economy. ('A route to normality or the birth of a two-tier country? Debate grows as vaccine ID cards appear ever likelier’, 23 January).
It would definitely create the two tiers of those who have had a vaccine and those who have not, and it could be said that this is a matter of choice for the person concerned.
However, with the system proposed there will also be two tiers within the vaccinated population, namely those who can afford and have the skills to use a smartphone with facial recognition and those who cannot. That may not be a matter of choice.
There are too many flaws in the concept of a vaccine ID or passport to list them all; I want to focus on two.
Firstly, the logic is flawed on the basic principle of having a passport. If I have been vaccinated, then someone who has not been vaccinated is not a threat to me. They are predominantly a threat only to themselves. If I am not vaccinated but lie about this, I am predominantly only a threat to myself.
If the vaccination is as efficacious as predicted, those that are vaccinated have their passport already, as a shot in the arm. If this passport is mooted as only needed for a transition period, then a piece of paper, appropriately validated, will do the job.
Secondly, why do we insist on an app on our phones when we know from the last app fiasco that not everyone has a mobile and even if they do, the software is not written for every phone? We don’t all rush out and and replace our phones with the latest model every couple of years. Not every answer to every problem is an app. Perhaps our ministers think it makes them seem progressive.
Bordering on chaos
Why, when there is a major pandemic affecting most of the world, are so many people still free to travel? The scenes of chaos at Heathrow arrivals are extremely concerning when these passengers can then get on public transport to travel to their destination.
Apart from residents going home, why would anybody want to visit a country in lockdown with such a high incidence of Covid?
India’s vaccine diplomacy
India has started exporting locally produced vaccines to a number of countries, including Brazil, Morocco and South Africa, either as free gifts or on a commercial basis. It is not clear which of the two vaccines, Covishield or Covaxin, are being exported. Covaxin has yet to clear phase three trials. The results are expected in March.
India has vaccinated 15.82 lakhs [hundred thousand] citizens, in the first eight days of vaccination, which is about 1.98 lakh people per day. India has a population of 1.4 billion people. Even if we hike the vaccination drive to a million per day, India will need 1,400 days or about 3.8 years to vaccinate everyone. India has inoculated 0.114 per cent of the country, compared to 9.3 per cent in Britain, 37.31 per cent in Israel, 5.75 per cent in the US and 1.04 per cent in China. We have a long way to go.
There is no need for India to indulge in theatrical “vaccine diplomacy”. We have taken care of our health workers and police. Now we should vaccinate our senior citizens, slum dwellers, villagers, farmers, and young people who manage the economy. They are the ones who pay the taxes to fund vaccine production.
Western nations have booked enough vaccine doses to cover their populations three to four times. India has not covered our population even once. We are trying to garner a few shallow claps from the world.
Swimming happily along
When Jacob Rees-Mogg says that British fish are “happier” because of Brexit, he openly displays the infantile fantasy world in which lives.
However, he was absolutely correct when he said that Britain has her fish back; and that is where they will remain as we will not be exporting many of them due to the ridiculous regulations enabled by the other political interns in the cabinet.