Over the course of the weekend, the topic of vaccine passports gained considerable momentum, and comments that I provided to local media were picked up by various news outlets.
"Green hopes to roll out vaccine passport pilot for inter-island travel by May 1," Hawaii News Now, April 10, 2021
"Hawaii one step closer to vaccine exemption for travelers," KHON2, April 10, 2021
"Hawaii eyes summer rollout of a vaccine passport," Travel Weekly, April 10, 2021
"Hawaii’s Vaccine Passport Is Slated To Roll Out By Summer," Forbes, April 12, 2021
While I can appreciate the nuance of a subject as sensitive as vaccinations, our offices have been receiving emails and calls in opposition to the proposed vaccine passport for a number of easily disproven reasons. So for the sake of clarity, I want to make entirely clear HLTA's longstanding stance on the issue:
Vaccine passports are not mandatory, do not discriminate, and will not strip any person of their inalienable rights. As proposed by local government and other jurisdictions around the world, vaccine passports would make it easier to travel without being subjected to pre-arrival testing or mandatory quarantine periods. In Hawai'i's case, the Safe Travels requirements will remain in place as a public health safeguard for those individuals who have not yet been vaccinated or those who will opt to forgo vaccination altogether.
The COVID-19 vaccine was extensively trialed and received the FDA's Emergency Use Authorization. Extensive vaccination of the world's population will not only protect countless people from infection, but will also lessen the severity of your symptoms should you get infected, decrease the likelihood of new COVID-19 variants from spreading, and bring us closer to herd immunity and, by extension, normalcy in our everyday lives.
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