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As European nations turn to national health passports, can the United States learn from it?




With the rapid spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus and the slowdown in the pace of vaccinations, France and now Italy have chosen to turn to a new tool: ordering people seeking to enter most public places, including including restaurants, cinemas and sports venues, to provide health passes. .

To participate in public life, people in these countries must prove that they have been vaccinated or tested negative within the past 48 hours.

Full deployment in France has yet to start and Italy just announced its decision on Thursday, so it’s unclear how it will work in practice or what impact it will have.

But the mere announcement of the new measure in France resulted in a rush of people being vaccinated.

More than 3.7 million people made an appointment for the first injection the week after the country’s president, Emmanuel Macron, announced the plan in a July 12 speech. Almost 50 percent of the population is now fully immunized.

The move also sparked a backlash, as more than 100,000 people marched through the streets over the weekend to protest what they say is too much of the government’s reach.

Yet as the United States faces its own spike in coronavirus cases driven by the Delta variant, local, state and federal authorities are looking for ways to increase vaccine use.

A national policy that relies on immunization status to contain behavior would be difficult for the United States to adopt. The country’s approach to the pandemic has always been very decentralized. From mask warrants to testing requirements, there has never been a universal federal policy that has been mandated in all 50 states. Likewise, America does not have a nationally recognized standard proof of vaccination.

The European Union, meanwhile, recently unveiled a Digital Green Pass, which indicates a person’s vaccination status. It is recognized by all the nations in the bloc and has already facilitated travel between nations, allowing vaccine status to play a role in restrictions on entry.

In Britain, where Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently overturned what had been a tough stance against requiring people to prove their health to enter social and cultural places, there is a recognized application at the level National Health Service that can be used to quickly check immunization status.

But there is fierce political resistance to enacting mandatory rules around a health pass when it comes to social and cultural life in the UK. Even Mr Johnson’s mere suggestion has sparked outrage from many lawmakers and is unlikely to be considered until September. , when all adults have had a chance to get the vaccine.

For months, US states and local governments have offered a host of incentives to get people to shoot.

In May, Ohio, Colorado, and Oregon were among states offering $ 1 million lottery prizes to people who landed the jab. Prizes big and small, including free beer in Erie County, NY, and a dinner with the Governor of New Jersey may have prompted some to get the shot, but the pace average vaccinations have fallen by more than 80% since mid-April.

Attempted private industry mandates resulted in legal challenges.

A federal judge upheld the Indiana universities ‘vaccination requirement, dismissing the students’ arguments that the warrant was unconstitutional.

The CDC’s attempt to impose warrants on the cruise industry is now being challenged in federal court after the state of Florida challenged the rules.

Even the efforts of private hospitals to demand that health workers get vaccinated have been challenged.

But while a national policy similar to those being rolled out in France and now in Italy may be unlikely, it remains to be seen whether states will seek to find their own ways to increase vaccination rates not through the prospect of price but with death threats. more difficult for those who do not want to be vaccinated.




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