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“Vaccine Passport” is heading to California, but some may be left behind



California broke a major threshold last week: For the first time, California officials adopted a policy that would allow vaccinated residents to enjoy different activities from unvaccinated residents.

The new requirement for a “vaccine passport”-showing a vaccination certificate for attending parties such as weddings, conferences, concerts, or theater performances-makes California different from states that try to ban such requirements and have repeatedly obtained vaccines and privileges for the region The region has raised questions about failing to protect its most vulnerable people.

From April 15th, venues for concerts, theaters or other events may welcome more crowds if they require attendees to show evidence that they are COVID-1

9 negative or fully vaccinated, national health officials said on Friday. Those who are vaccinated will also be allowed to sit in special places without causing social alienation.

Although experts praised this decision as a reasonable way to reduce the risk of infection when the economy reopens, many people worry that the vaccine passport will harm Californians who have suffered the most during the entire pandemic, and that the state cannot ensure a steady flow. Supplies for vaccination.

“This is an automatic exclusion. You added another nail to the coffin and nailed it to the same population who refused to provide the vaccine. This is the social determinant of health problems. This is the unemployment problem,” said the chief executive of the community health cooperative in charge of supervision Dolores Alvarado said the South Bay residents’ clinic was underserved. “Now you will add another layer on top of it, which is’You can’t be a part of all these things we are doing.'”

Elsewhere, passports triggered the same conservative backlash as when wearing masks last spring. Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis (Ron DeSantis) on Friday banned companies and government agencies from requesting vaccine documentation, saying it threatened the “personal freedom” in his executive order. Senators from Pennsylvania are drafting similar laws.

However, experts in the Bay Area pay less attention to political debates, and pay more attention to how regulations abandon those who receive vaccinations, which are still full of structural, technical or financial obstacles.

According to the California Department of Public Health, California’s Latino community accounts for nearly 40% of the population and 50% of COVID-19 infections, but has received only 19% of vaccinations so far. At the same time, the top quartile of residents in the California Healthy Places Index (scoring the census area based on factors such as income and access to health care) accounted for about 30% of the population who had received at least one dose, while the bottom four The quantile population grew by only 20%.

Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, an epidemiologist at the University of California, San Francisco, said that vaccinations at large gatherings can alleviate the wave of events that may lead to “super spread” of COVID-19 infection. But she was troubled by the new rules before the Latino and black communities were vaccinated widely.

Another red flag for community health advocates is the idea of ​​using a digital passport on a mobile phone or device, as the state health official, Dr. Tomás J. Aragón, suggested, this could become the norm for calling reporters on Friday. Throughout the pandemic, reliance on online platforms has made it more difficult for many people to register for the first coronavirus test and the current vaccine.

Bibbins-Domingo said: “Producing a vaccination certificate is likely to be a tool we use to safely reopen a part of our economy.” “This is not an inherently unfair idea. When we have qualified people who cannot get the vaccine now, It is unfair to do so when there are serious inequalities among those severely affected by the disease.”

At the same time, Santa Clara County Administrative Officer Jeff Smith believes that given the widespread detection of different COVID-19 variants throughout the state, the vaccine passport is a “false guarantee”, but the county has no area Enforcement of stricter restrictions in the case of support is hindered. He added that ideally, the state government would not continue to implement the plan until the severely affected communities have reached a certain vaccination threshold.

Aragorn promised that officials will pay close attention to the vaccine’s ability to protect against variants, and it is expected that supplies will be opened in large quantities in late April. Despite the manufacturing interruption, California still expects 572,700 doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccine this week, 215,400 doses in the second week, and 215,400 doses in the second week thereafter.

He told reporters on Friday: “We expect most people will be able to do this and the obstacles will be removed.” CDPH declined to respond further on Saturday.

For some anxious residents, the vaccine passport seems to be a useful way to reduce at least some risks. Milpitas resident Minh Nguyen was waiting outside the mass vaccination site at the Aloha skating rink in East San Jose on Saturday. He said he supports the idea, but abandoning other preventive measures is not foolproof.

“Absolutely, show that card,” Ruan said. “But I still advise people to wear masks, just to be extra careful.”

Nima Ardestani, a hardware engineer who has just received the vaccination, said that he is not in a hurry to return to the concert or travel, but he may consider paying some extra fees for the concert or the plane’s customer area that has only been vaccinated.

“It’s good, but I don’t know if it is absolutely necessary,” Ardestani said. “I can take 5% risk.”

Whether it’s through restaurant reservations, a preference for certain shoppers, or leisure sports, the extent to which passports can penetrate the daily lives of Californians is still an open discussion among experts. Aragon said that basic services will not require documents.

Bibbins-Domingo speculates that while showing evidence of vaccination is meaningful for larger and higher-risk gatherings, it is unlikely that vaccination will be required for most daily activities-partly because there is no real Implementation mechanism.

She said: “It’s hard to imagine that we will live in a state where everything we do needs to be proven, but it remains to be seen.”


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