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'Society doesn't force medical treatment on people' Prof Van Tam on vaccine passports

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Jonathan Van-Tam was asked during his Good Morning Britain appearance whether he believes the UK should introduce documents that prove vaccinations so sectors of the country can reopen. Some campaigners have shown opposition to the coronavirus vaccine passports as an assault on individual liberty and a way to force people to have the vaccine through a backdoor. Professor Van-Tam argued the UK does not force people to take any medical treatments in a statement that indicates the government advisor might be sceptical about their rollout. 

Speaking on Good Morning Britain, host Piers Morgan asked Prof Van-Tam: “Is it morally justified for a government to say, for example, that if you want to go into restaurants or gyms or bars or nightclubs, to get them back open again. 

“To recharge the economy, then you have to show, as they’re now doing in Israel, they’re now showing a vaccine certificate. 

“Do you support that, do you think there’s a moral issue in telling people you’ve got to show a bit of paper to show you’ve been vaccinated before you can have your freedom fully back?”

The Professor replied: “I think the government’s announced that it’s going to look at this and look at the whole area in quite some detail.

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“And it wouldn’t be right of me to comment, at that point, other than to say I think they are plausible arguments and there are plausible arguments for and plausible arguments against.

“But we’ve never lived in a society here where we force medical treatments on people.”

Earlier in his interview, Prof Van-Tam said it was likely to see Covid resurge in winter much like flu or other infectious diseases. 

He explained the virus would evolve to infect humans better depending on the seasons. 

In an interview earlier this week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson revealed a task force was looking into vaccine passports and the ethics behind using them. 

The review, led by Cabinet Minister Michael Gove, will look at whether their use would be effective to reopen some areas of the UK and control the spread of COVID-19. 

The Government is investigating whether an app, similar to Test and Trace, could be used.

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The Prime Minister added it was likely to see vaccine passports rolled out for international travel as some countries have been pushing for their introduction. 

Greece has been pushing for the documents as a way to reopen its tourism sector and will urge the EU to implement them at a meeting later this week. 

Campaigners are worried the vaccination passports may discriminate against those from third-world countries who would be prevented from travelling since their vaccination programmes are not as advanced. 



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