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Vaccine Passports increase rebellion against vaccines, major UK study finds

A backfire for lawmakers.
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COVID vaccination skeptics are more hesitant to get vaccinated after COVID-19 passports are implemented, a major new UK study has found.

In the survey, young individuals, individuals from non-white communities, and people with limited English proficiency had lower levels of immunization and a negative attitude towards vaccine passports. At the time of the poll, the majority of respondents had not yet received a vaccine.

Related: How vaccine passports are crushing freedom, privacy, and civil liberties

As a result of the findings, UK ministers have been set back concerning their plans to enact a contentious vaccine passport policy for nightclubs, due to take effect at the end of the month in the hope to boost youth participation in the vaccine.

The survey accounted for more than 16,000 individuals and is due to be published in the Lancet journal EClinicalMedicine.

Beginning in September, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson plans to make vaccine passports mandatory for crowded indoor events in the UK, including nightclubs.

There appears to be a large number of Conservative backbenchers who oppose any further attempts to impose the passport. So far, little details are known, but the Prime Minister’s spokesperson stated yesterday that the plans to introduce vaccine passports will go ahead as normal, saying ‘‘We set out broadly our intention to require vaccination for nightclubs and some other settings. We will be coming forward in the coming weeks with detail for that.’’

Even after backlash from his MPs, Boris Johnson remains committed to the policy.

In the UK, however, such a step would heighten the gap between the vaccinated and unvaccinated populations, according to the research.

A total of 16,527 participants took part in the study, and more than 85% said COVID passports would not affect their current vaccination decision. 12.2% indicated they would not receive a vaccination if passports were made available.

In a summary, the authors of the report warned that the clear divide in opinion could lead to a public split. “This creates a risk of creating a divided society wherein the majority are relatively secure but there remain pockets of lower vaccination where outbreaks can still occur,” they stated.

Leaders of the hospitality industry have openly criticized the Prime Minister’s plans to require vaccine passports for nightclubs and other “crowded” venues.

In the wake of the proposals, nightclub industry leaders have called it a “chaotic U-turn” and a “bad idea.” Eight out of 10 nightclubs also expressed concern that vaccine passports would further harm their business.

In addition, several backbenchers are opposed to the “misguided” use of the records and are ‘horrified’ that their daily lives will be handicapped by such restrictions.

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