Are vaccine passports the next big policy tool in the response to Covid-19 in the UK? Could they offer a way of balancing the two central issues of the pandemic – ensuring public health concerns are addressed, whilst allowing the economy to keep going? Now large-scale vaccine rollouts have started, there is talk in public policy circles, the media, and beyond, that vaccine passports are the next step in returning to normality. However, there is little consensus about to whom they should apply and what freedoms they should enable, or indeed whether they should exist at all. In part, this is because there is scant understanding of the UK public’s view.
To facilitate understanding in this regard, the Serco Institute commissioned a UK poll – carried out by Survation – into peoples’ views of vaccine passports. The 1,003-person survey has been weighted to give an accurate reflection of the UK population.
The Serco Institute’s discussion paper, Public Opinion & Vaccine Passports, outlines findings that show the public back vaccine passports being used in a wide range of settings. It showed a majority of people want to see their introduction in all of the settings we asked about - from international travel to non-essential retail. Arguably more significant than the levels of support is the remarkably low levels of opposition to the implementation of vaccine passports, with constitently low-numbers of people showing little opposition for their introduction.
The introduction of vaccine passports elicits strong feelings amongst advocates and opponents alike. This discussion paper does not seek to advocate either way. Our objective is to provide data and analysis to help inform the debate.