The risks risks from Omicron might continue to fade but DUP Covid vaccine passport plan still needs to be debated

News Letter editorial of Saturday January 15 2022:

Saturday, 15th January 2022, 8:44 am
Updated Saturday, 15th January 2022, 8:58 am
News Letter editorial

The DUP is moving to scrap vaccine passports in Northern Ireland as early as next week.

Stormont’s first minister Paul Givan revealed the party’s intentions as it was reported that the UK health secretary Sajid Javid will get rid of the English version of the vax proof scheme.

Mr Givan will have a political battle on his hands to persuade other parties, which back the requirements to show proof of either jab or infection status to get into certain premises. His comments have perhaps a ‘show’ quality.

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But it is part of an important debate about compulsion, a strand of which we report on page 12, where England is unveiling the outworking of its plans to require health staff to be vaccinated against coronavirus.

One curious feature of the discourse over vaccinations is the noise that is made by groups or activists who oppose them. They seem to be large in number, but cannot be so, given the huge percentage of the adult population that has chosen to get jabbed. An overwhelming majority of people have voluntarily taken at least one jab and many of those who have not done have failed to do so out of apathy or perhaps because they have not got round to it.

Omicron is turning out to be far less dangerous than feared and so this debate might fizzle out. But it the merits of the arguments still need to be examined in case of future strains: should we, for example, heavily encourage people to get jabbed so we avoid in future the horror of lockdown?

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