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Why Cities Like Boston Shouldn't Follow New York's Lead on Vaccination Passports

Posted by nte on August 24, 2021 in In Print
Image credit: Boston Globe
Image credit: Boston Globe

Seema Mohapatra, Françoise Baylis, and Natalie Kofler. (24 Aug 2021). Why cities like Boston shouldn’t follow New York’s lead on vaccination passports

As it could be onerous and cost-prohibitive in many settings to screen every patron, some businesses might reasonably introduce random checks. There is reason to fear that certain people, particularly people of color, will be scrutinized more closely than others.

Earlier this month, New York became the first major US city to announce it would mandate proof-of-vaccination to access indoor public spaces. Under the “Key to NYC” vaccination mandate, people wanting to go to New York restaurants, bars, gyms, movie theaters, and concerts must show proof of at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine. The goal is to both limit viral spread and entice people to get vaccinated. Enforcement begins in September.

Other US cities have begun to announce similar plans, including New OrleansLos Angeles, and San Francisco.

Vaccine mandates in high-risk settings with controlled access, such as hospitals and long-term care homes, elementary schools, and day-care centers are valuable public health measures. Planned proof-of-vaccination systems that aim to restrict activities of daily living are not so straightforward.

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