By Maria Carnovale
Many countries, like Canada and the EU, are launching digital vaccine credentials to reopen businesses and local economies. This technology permits inoculated individuals to access public spaces, return to school, or workplaces. However, due to concerns over civil liberties, the Biden administration has ruled out federal use of vaccine passports, and a new bill was recently introduced in Congress and the Senate to forbid federal support of third parties, such as airlines, in implementing these systems. US States can still pursue them, and New York has been the first one to do so with its Excelsior Pass.
To better understand public sentiment toward these technologies, Khahlil Louisy and Julian Zlatev of ITGH launched a survey earlier this year. The 1000 respondents were asked questions about themselves, their support of vaccination passports, and under what conditions would they consider them to be an appropriate tool in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The data showed above-average support for the use of digital vaccination credentials: 66.5% of respondents were in favor of using these tools, 19.5% were not, and 14% did not know. The level of support was roughly equal among men and women, and it did not change across income levels.
According to the respondents, businesses were the most appropriate venues to require vaccination credentials upon entry, but schools should not do so. Similarly, they preferred airlines to require digital proof of COVID-19 vaccination over hotels, music, and sports venues. Public health departments were considered the most trustworthy institutions to implement digital vaccination passport systems, while technology companies were the least trusted.
The sample was nationally representative of the US population by age, gender, income, and race.
You can find out more about the results of this study here.
To continue to explore public sentiment for digital vaccine passports, the two authors are currently launching a new survey. Stay tuned for more on digital vaccination passports!