Vaccine Pass, Is It Necessary or Not?
Vaccine Pass, Is It Necessary or Not?
  • 김성은 기자
  • 승인 2022.03.22 11:17
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With the prolonged COVID-19, the continues social distancing policy has increased people's fatigue and stagnated domestic demand. In response, the government implemented ‘the Step-By- Step Daily Recovery (with COVID-19)’ policy. Step-bystep daily recovery is a policy that gradually returns to daily life by managing only severe patients without managing all infected people, with the final goal of lifting all compulsory quarantine measures such as mandatory wearing masks, self-quarantine, and social distancing. As the first step in this policy, the Republic of Korea introduced a 'vaccine pass' system. Vaccine pass was introduced for differential restrictions when using public or Necessary Kyungnam Times ● 31 multi-use facilities depending on whether the COVID-19 vaccination was completed. When entering public facilities or multi-use facilities, it checks whether the vaccination of the COVID-19 has been completed and limits the number of visitors or not permit entering of those who to those who have not been vaccinated. However, those who have completed the COVID-19 vaccine will be relatively free compared to those who have not been vaccinated at private gatherings. Vaccination incentives are to differentiate between those who have vaccinated and the others. The table below shows the first, second, third vaccination and unvaccinated rate in Korea. Vaccinations First Second Third Unvaccinated Rate (2022. 02. 24.) 87.4% 86.4% 60.1% 12.6% Despite the rise in vaccination rates, the increasing trend of confirmed patients has not decreased. In this reality, I think vaccination should be a ‘must.’ Here are the reasons. First, even if there is a ‘breakthrough infection,’ the vaccine is the best quarantine. Vaccinated people show significantly lower infection rates than the unvaccinated. In addition, even if people are infected with ‘breakthrough infection,’ the symptoms are significantly lower than those of unvaccinated people. Second, non-vaccinated people are encouraged to get vaccinated. COVID-19 continues to intensify, but there are still many people who refuse vaccines for various reasons. Recommending people to get vaccinated through the application of the vaccine pass system will consequently help with COVID-19 group immunity. Finally, vaccination is somewhat helpful in the economic downturn. Unlike in the past, when social distancing policies recklessly prevented private gatherings or public places, people with a ‘vaccine pass’ are able to use various facilities relatively freely. Therefore, the economy, which has been stagnant due to social distancing policies after the spread of COVID-19, could rise again. Despite the problems emerging these days, such as side effects and breakthrough infections of vaccines, vaccines must be the best quarantine and the best way to escape the threat of COVID-19. Therefore, vaccine passes should be carried out, but more considerate policies are required for those who are not able to receive vaccines for diseases or special reasons. 32 Argument & Fact By the end of 2019, COVID-19, the virus that can be transmitted between animals and humans, has been widespread all over the world. As of now, in 2022, there was no sign of a decrease in the number of confirmed cases over time. Recently, a policy named 'Vaccine Pass' was adopted. Vaccine Pass is a kind of certification that proves the person who has completed the COVID-19 vaccination or confirmed the COVID-19 negative, and some restrictions are applied to people who have no certificate. The table below shows the first, second, third vaccination and unvaccinated rate in Korea. Vaccinations First Second Third Unvaccinated Rate (2022. 02. 24.) 87.4% 86.4% 60.1% 12.6% The certification itself has no problem. However, people who have no certificate are not allowed to use various public facilities such as movie theaters, libraries, karaoke, and so on. For example, in case of a cafe, when you go there alone, it is permitted. However, when you go to a cafe with more than two, each of you needs the certificate. If even one person does not have the certificate, you are denied entry. It is Un-necessary absurd, isn't it? Because of the policy, there has been some opposition against the ‘vaccine pass.’ Here are some reasons. First, the Korean Government states that the purpose of the policy is to protect the unvaccinated. The government prohibits the unvaccinated from entering the place where the vaccinated congregate; however, herd immunity is more prevalent for the unvaccinated when they co-exist with the vaccinated. Second, the policy is one-sided and oppressive. There are many cases from people showing side effects of vaccination. Additionally, people who have underlying diseases cannot be vaccinated; meaning the policy is inflexible towards those with a medical exemption. Third, tthe cumulative number of deaths since vaccination has increased to 1882 as of February 13. However, the government has not fully identified the causal relationship between vaccination and death. What is worse, the number of deaths after vaccination may increase further in the future. Finally, 'Is the vaccine really effective?' is a question. Although the vaccination has been in progress since February 2021, there is no decrease in the number of confirmed cases, severe cases, and deaths. The implication is that the government's first assumption (if vaccination rate increases, the number of deaths and confirmed cases will decrease) is wrong. If the vaccine is truly safe and effective, it is reasonable to encourage people to be vaccinated. However, not only is the effect of the current vaccine unclear but also there is nothing guaranteed about the safety of the vaccine. Quick response in times of need can be important, but now is time to take a more careful action. For these reasons, I strongly disagree with the policy of the Vaccine Pass.

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