Authoritarian or Humanitarian???

‘Vaccine-passport’ is the buzz word these days due to high numbers of reported COVID-19 cases despite Australian states adhering to the national plan and increase in the vaccination percentages which are 76.4% (1st dose) and 43.6% (2nd dose) making the possibility of entering Phase B a not far off reality for NSW. While there are 1070 current COVID-19 cases in Australian hospitals and 235 in Intensive Care Units, heated debates are still going on about whether the government has the right to force vaccine passports on people and whether the move is a violation of human rights. Being a close follower of media’s coverage on COVID-19 news, I have noticed catchphrases such as “No jabs No jobs,” “No entry into eateries or cafés without vaccination” etc. as headlines. The argument that ‘my body, my choice’, in my opinion, must be overruled, especially if an individual’s choices could affect the health of those around him or her in an adverse manner leading to their death.

Since it is a case of death or survival without becoming horribly sick, I am willing to push the idea of vaccination being a universal ruse to introduce people to biometric identification to the back of my mind and fall in line with the national plan and obtain two doses of Pfizer vaccination way before Christmas to enjoy the guaranteed vaccine passport to freedom. Now that I have mentioned biometric identification, for which data could be collected, using either the physiological characteristics such as fingerprinting, retinal or handprint (minutia points) scans or the behavioural characteristics such as voice, gait, the way we use objects, gestures, signature dynamics such as speed of the movement of pen etc., I wouldn’t be exaggerating if I state that with these biometric identifiers, usually used by new biometric security systems, it would be possible to identify any person in any part of the world. Nabbing a terrorist, cybercriminal or identity theft would be a cake walk as installing biometric systems are becoming more affordable and more reliable. If you are a clean person or a law abider, biometrics or not, ‘vaccine-passport’ is still a welcoming idea.

With many large organizations such as Telstra openly declaring that vaccination is crucial for employment, with the only other choice being termination, our hands are tied and there is no question of human rights in this matter. Vaccine passports are synonymous with hectic social life with cafes, eateries and clubs denying entry to their long-term customers if unvaccinated. Vaccine passports ushering in a new era of acquiescence to authority!

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