Shomporko Online News Desk: Following a temporary ban on persons who had received Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines from attending a show in the United States, an expert is warning that this could be the tip of the iceberg when it comes to vaccine passport concerns.
The company producing a Broadway performance starring Bruce Springsteen, Jujamcyn Theatres, altered its position on Saturday, saying that the audience goer who received the AstraZeneca shot would be welcome in its audience.
Those who wanted to attend ‘Springsteen on Broadway’ had to show confirmation of immunization with a shot certified by the US Food and Drug Administration, according to the theater.
The shot from AstaZeneca has not yet received the green-light from the agency.
It has, however, been approved for use in Canada, and more than 2.92 million doses have been delivered to the provinces and territories.
Kerry Bowman, a professor of bioethics and global health at the University of Toronto, said the ‘Springsteen on Broadway’ incident is a “classic example” of what vaccine passports do.
“They’re divisive, they’re bureaucratic, and they’re often not evidence based,” he said. “If you ask yourself from a scientific point of view, are people vaccinated with AstraZeneca a higher risk than the other people within that audience? Absolutely not.”
Speaking at a press conference on Friday, Trudeau said the federal government is working on “two tracks” in terms of proof of vaccinations for Canadians who want to travel.
The initial phase, he said, will use the ArriveCan app, an app that allows travelers to digitally provide contact and quarantine information.
“(The) initial phase will be to have people upload images of proof of vaccination so border agents can verify on their return to Canada,” Trudeau said.
The prime minister said more details will be made available in the coming weeks.
The federal government is also working with provinces to “establish a national certification of immunization standard,” which could be ready in the fall, according to Trudeau.
It is unclear, however, what proof of vaccination will be accepted by Canada from people seeking entry.
Canada’s Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc said at a press conference on Tuesday that the federal government is “working with allies, obviously, in the European Union, the United States, and others to find the most appropriate way to recognize proof of vaccination for citizens who want to travel internationally.”