Last Wednesday, the Department of Defense released images of a COVID-19 vaccination record card that would be provided to anyone who receives the coronavirus vaccination.
Many people are concerned that government agencies and businesses will begin to require that patrons show the card in order to gain entry into buildings.
But the current official narrative around the cards is that they are a simple way to help Americans keep track of their next scheduled vaccination, since the current vaccines waiting for approval would require more than one dosage within a certain timeframe.
“The cards are part of vaccination kits developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Defense and Operation Warp Speed and will be sent to medical providers and pharmacies. The kits also include syringes and needles, a surgical mask and a face shield. The record card, written in English and Spanish, lists medical information about the vaccine given, the date it was administered and by whom. The cards are intended to fit into a wallet as a reminder when the second shot is due.”
Cards have been historically used to help patients keep track of their immunization doses, but those cards have been replaced in recent decades by electronic records.
“These are just for the person to have something to remind themselves of what vaccine they got that they can give to the provider when they come back to get their second dose,” said L.J. Tan, chief strategy officer of the Immunization Action Coalition.
“Everyone will be issued a written card that they can put in their wallet that will tell them what they had and when their next dose is due,” added Dr. Kelly Moore, associate director for the Immunization Action Coalition. “Let’s do the simple, easy thing first. Everyone’s going to get that.”
Many vaccination clinics are also planning to disburse vaccination dose information and schedules via text message to their client’s phone numbers.
The chief adviser to Operation Warp Speed, Moncef Slaoui, says that 100 million Americans could be vaccinated by February.
Despite authoritative assurances that the cards are solely a reminder for the patient of their next dose, many are still uneasy about the ways businesses could use the card to deny services to those who refuse to take the vaccine.
For instance, Qantas Airlines of Australia has stated that they will require proof of vaccination before passengers board an international flight.
Says Qantas Airlines CEO Alan Joyce: “Australia’s success at virtually eliminating COVID means we’ll need a vaccine for international travel to restart properly. We have a duty of care to our people and to our passengers, and once a safe and effective vaccine becomes readily available, it will be a requirement.”
Most airlines, however, have rejected any sort of mandatory vaccination to fly.
Arthur Caplan, professor of bioethics at New York University’s Grossman School of Medicine adds validation to these concerns, noting that it is far more likely that businesses will require vaccination verification than government.
“It’s much more likely that a private organization or company will require you to be vaccinated to get certain access to places. People worry about the president, governor, or county executive telling them what to do. I don’t think that’s going to happen.”
“I don’t think you’ll ever see a mandating of vaccine,” said Dr. Fauci in August, “particularly for the general public. If someone refuses the vaccine in the general public, then there’s nothing you can do about that. You cannot force someone to take a vaccine.”