Is the COVID-19 Vaccine the New Passport?

Within the past couple of months, the state governments of New York, California, and Washington have issued various Covid-19 vaccine requirements for a myriad of indoor activities. This decision comes in response to the growing desperation to get everyone vaccinated, as well as the government’s concern over the health of the general public. For years, people who traveled in and out of the United States were required to carry passports around to get from one nation to the next. Passports serve as that one item that allows you full access to other countries, but is the vaccination card starting to act the same way? Will there be a time when you need a vaccination card to go anywhere?

Before the pandemic hit, everyone went everywhere without a care in the world. You could go anywhere you wanted in the country, regardless of your vaccination status. Now, we live in a completely different world. From December 2020, the vaccine has slowly become available to all, and now it is available to everyone that is 12 and over. However, the push to get the vaccine wasn’t as strong. Many people developed the mindset that getting the vaccine wouldn’t change their lives at all, but that all changed on August 17th, 2021.

On August 17th, 2021, New York City began requiring tourists and residents over the age of 12 to show proof of vaccination to access any indoor event. This included all restaurants, movie theaters, nightclubs, Broadway productions, and gyms. This greatly changes the lives of many who aren’t vaccinated, since they can no longer enjoy Broadway shows and attend their local gyms until they get the vaccine. This can be hard for some people, but it’s all to encourage people to get vaccinated. Just recently, other cities around the country, such as Philadelphia, Seattle, and Los Angeles, began placing these same restrictions on the unvaccinated population.

To those who thought that the step to require proof of vaccination in all indoor venues was drastic, they weren’t ready for California’s new law. On October 1st, 2021, the state of California announced that all students attending school who are eligible to get the vaccine must be vaccinated to continue in-person learning. This step is monumental, considering that no other state in the country has required this yet. This vaccine requirement, although protested against by many concerned parents, was still implemented for good reason, since it protects everyone in the California school system from developing life-threatening symptoms of the Coronavirus.

So is the Covid-19 vaccination card really becoming the new passport? The future is very unpredictable but in these specific areas, it is. The vaccination card is beginning to serve as the gateway to all indoor events in the nation, just like the passport is the gateway to whole countries. Although not every area in the U.S. is this strict with vaccination requirements, it might be sooner or later. To some, these requirements are viewed as a restriction of their rights, but to others, it serves as an opportunity to get life back to normal while being safe at the same time. Regardless of opinion, in order to enjoy life again, you have to be vaccinated.