VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Most British Columbians support the idea of a vaccine passport for international travel, according to a new poll, despite ethical concerns and the federal government saying it is not considering the move.
The online survey of 800 people by Research Co. found 73 per cent of British Columbians endorse proof of vaccination certificates for international travel and 62 per cent think it could also be used for other specific activities during the pandemic like going to see a movie.
“There is certainly a lot of concern about people who are traveling to areas that have a higher case loads of COVID-19 and worried about people bringing the virus back to their communities,” Research Co. president Mario Canseco said. “[The survey] definitely shows that there’s an appetite for some sort of temporary solution that might allow British Columbians to go back and do some of the activities that have been taken away from them because of the pandemic, if they are vaccinated.”
Across the province, 62 per cent of people support a vaccine passport to be able to go to live sporting events, visit a gym, and go to live concerts.
Of people 55 years and older, 61 per cent think a vaccine passport for people to go to the cinema is a good idea, compared to 56 per cent of 18 to 34-year-olds and 53 per cent of 35 to 54-year-olds.
The majority of British Columbians also think people must prove vaccination in order to work in an office.
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Last month, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he was not considering a vaccine passport for Canada, saying there are many reasons someone may choose or be unable to get a vaccine and he is concerned about “creating knock-on, undesirable effects in our community.”
Conseco says his survey did not delve into the ethical concerns of having to prove vaccination in order to be allowed to do certain things.
“There’s been a lot of discussions relegated to whether this is the right course of action or how long it would take,” he said. “We thought it best to just leave it at the respondents and allow them to say do you think this is a good idea or not, without getting into any of the ethical or logistical ramifications.”
Despite this, Conseco admits the idea of a vaccine passport is one which should be approached with caution.
“Ultimately, I think there might be a reaction that’s fairly negative when it comes to a situation that might not enable somebody to go to a sporting event if it’s open,” he said. “But we need to look at this as something that is temporary. Nobody is suggesting this is going to be the way to do things from now on.”
Women were slightly more likely to support the vaccine passport idea, at 68 per cent, compared to 61 per cent of men.