As the global COVID-19 pandemic continued across the globe and COVID restrictions across the country were extended as the delta variant created new outbreaks in NSW and Victoria, additional strategies are being considered to raise vaccination levels and “beat COVID” so that Australians can return to a pre-COVID lifestyle.
One common suggestion was to further develop the MyGov COVID-19 Vaccination Certified into a ‘COVID Passport’ or ‘COVID Vaccine Passport’. An official document that confirms COVID related information such as vaccination status and confers eligibility for a reduction in the number and scope of restrictions a person is required to follow, including for interactions between members of the community.
For the September 2021 survey of Australia’s Health Panel, we wanted to hear what Panellists think of this idea of a COVID Passport and their views on how it could operate. And we found that Australians are generally quite supportive of a COVID Vaccine Passport and COVID vaccinations more broadly as part of protecting public health. However, there is a reasonably sized minority of people who prioritise personal choice and autonomy.
Overall, the community would support a COVID passport being introduced but want it to only contain the minimal amount of essential COVID specific information (‘double dose’ status and/or medical exemptions), be format flexible but tie in with exiting ‘check in’ apps, be administered as an Australian wide system and be optional.
They generally supported private business denying non-essential services to any individuals who do not demonstrate vaccination status and/or medical immunities but are unsure about Government/Public agencies doing the same.
Finally, they believe that particular attention would need to be paid to make sure groups who are historically marginalised or have been currently as part of prior COVID actions, are not further marginalised by an uneven and ill-thought roll out of a COVID passport system.
For the full report, download the file below. The Consumers Health Forum of Australia would like to thank all panellists for giving up their time to participate in this survey. Any questions about this survey and its findings can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.