The ethics of ‘vaccine passports’ and a moral case for global vaccine equity

Steven Thrasher:

The history of smallpox is really interesting, which is one of the very, very few viruses that have been eradicated from the face of the earth. And it was eradicated because of extreme cooperation between the United States and the former USSR, these ideologically opposed empires that worked together for a common goal. And I think that’s a real model of what we need to be doing with the coronavirus.

We need to have international cooperation and support to address how to best deal with this pandemic, particularly because it’s one that transmits so casually. You don’t need a smallpox passport to go between countries because you don’t need a vaccine anymore, because it’s gone.

One thing I think we can really learn about what the U.S. has done quite well this year is that it might have been inconceivable two years ago to think that there’s a health condition that everyone is dealing with at the same time. And everyone will have access to what will help it for free, we’ll put in the infrastructure to do it. The U.S. has been fantastic at getting needles into arms in the past few months. It’s something that’s very much within our grasp to do to help other countries to be able to do the same thing. And if we did that, then people could move between borders without the fear and anxiety that we have right now about viruses.

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