COVID vaccine passports drive adoption in countries with low coverage – study


According to a study published in The Lancet, COVID-19 vaccine passports have led to an increase in the uptake of vaccination in countries with low coverage – especially among young people. Monday.

Why is this important: This is the first study to examine the impact of warrants that restrict access to places such as restaurants and hair salons in response to the pandemic.

Driving the news: Researchers at the University of Oxford looked at six countries where “COVID-19 certification” required people to show full proof of vaccination, a negative test, or a coronavirus recovery certificate to access public venues and events. April to September this year.

What they found: France, Israel, Italy and Switzerland, which started with below-average immunization coverage, saw increases in immunization rates 20 days before the imposition of warrants and 40 days after.

  • There was no significant effect in Germany, where vaccination coverage was already high, or in Denmark, where supply was limited.
  • “The increase in adoption was highest for people under the age of 30 after the introduction of certification,” the study notes.
  • When Switzerland implemented restrictions on nightclubs and large events, the largest increases in inoculation were in people under the age of 20.

In numbers : Researchers analyzed data showing that the number of vaccine doses per million people increased by 127,000 in France, from more than 243,000 in Israel, from more than 64,000 in Switzerland and Italy, the increase exceeded 66,000.

What they say : Study co-author Tobias Ruttenauer, University of Oxford, in a statement: “We know that some groups have lower vaccine uptake than others and it may be that COVID- certification 19 is a useful way to encourage vaccine-compliant groups, such as young people and men, to get vaccinated.

Yes, but: The authors note some limitations of their study, including the lack of data available to examine vaccine use by socio-demographic, gender, and ethnicity, and pointed out that COVID-19 certification policies in the countries studied differed for a variety of reasons. .

  • They recognize that the causes of vaccine reluctance are diverse from country to country, influenced by the historical experience of different social groups, which may limit the generalization of their findings.
  • The authors wrote that policy makers considering vaccine passports should consider issues such as the risk of exacerbating disparities between low adoption communities, generating inequalities in access to public spaces where vaccine deployment is staggered. depending on the age and confidentiality of the data.

To note: In the United States, vaccine passports have become a point of contention, especially between Republicans and Democrats.

Between the lines: Flavio Toxvaerd, a senior lecturer at Cambridge University’s Faculty of Economics who was not involved in the study, told Sky News that the research “confirms that people are responding to incentives, in this case to incentives to be vaccinated “.

  • “For those who are hesitant, different incentives can make a difference and requiring vaccine certification makes the lives of the unvaccinated heavier,” he said.

The essential : “COVID-19 certification is only one part of a constellation of multiple policy levers that could be used to counter vaccine complacency and reluctance and increase adoption, ”the researchers write in the study.


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