Six in 10 Americans support the idea of vaccine passports, Republicans likely to oppose

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About 60 percent of Americans are supportive of the use of vaccine passports, with those who support more likely to be Democrats, women and not members of Gen X, a new survey finds.

The survey, conducted by USARx, of more than 1,000 people from around the country asked people of their opinions of vaccine passports, which use QR codes to provide proof immunization to perform daily activities.

Questions included whether vaccine passports should be implemented and ethical factors that may arise if they were to be rolled out. 

Of the 60 percent of Americans who did support their use, 76 percent were already vaccinated. 

A total of 28 percent said they opposed vaccine passports and 11.4 percent said they were neutral on the matter. 

Generation X were more likely than millennials and baby boomers to be against passports and Republicans were more likely to oppose them than Democrats.

What’s more, about half of Americans surveyed believe that vaccine passports are necessary for the country to put an end to the pandemic. 

About 60% of Americans surveyed support the idea of vaccine passports compared to 28% who oppose and 11.4% who were neutral

About 60% of Americans surveyed support the idea of vaccine passports compared to 28% who oppose and 11.4% who were neutral

Nearly 75% of Democrats support the use of the passports, while less than half of Republicans do, the survey found

Nearly 75% of Democrats support the use of the passports, while less than half of Republicans do, the survey found

With vaccine passports, Americans may have to prove their vaccine status to certain businesses like restaurants and entertainment venues in order to be served without masks or social distancing. Pictured: A US tourist is screened at Fiumicino Airport in  Rome, May 28

With vaccine passports, Americans may have to prove their vaccine status to certain businesses like restaurants and entertainment venues in order to be served without masks or social distancing. Pictured: A US tourist is screened at Fiumicino Airport in  Rome, May 28

Views of vaccine passports were split along party lines. 

Nearly 75 percent of Democrats support the use of the passports, while less than half of Republicans do. 

Conversely, 44 percent of Republicans were fully opposed to the use of vaccine passports, compared to only 13 percent of Democrats. 

When it came to age groups, members of Generation X – people who were born between the early 1960s and late 1970s – were most likely to oppose vaccine passports, with 33 percent being in opposition. 

Baby boomers – born between the mid-1940s and mid-1960s – and millennials – born between 1980 and the mid-1990s, were less likely to oppose vaccine passports at 29 percent and 26 percent respectively. 

Among sexes, women were also more likely than men to support the use of vaccine passports at 53 percent compared to 49 percent.

Vaccine passports have been a point of heated discussion in recent months.

A basketball game between the New York Knicks and Atlanta Hawks at Madison Square Garden last month had sections of the stadium for vaccinated fans, which required no masks or social distancing, while precautionary measures will still needed in the sparsely populated unvaccinated sections (above)

A basketball game between the New York Knicks and Atlanta Hawks at Madison Square Garden last month had sections of the stadium for vaccinated fans, which required no masks or social distancing, while precautionary measures will still needed in the sparsely populated unvaccinated sections (above)

Since the vaccines first became available in December, the concept of people being able to prove their vaccine status to businesses in order to be serviced or sit in certain maskless, non-socially distanced, areas has been discussed.

The spotlight on vaccine passports became even stronger after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new guidance last month that vaccinated Americans no longer had to social distance or wear their masks in-doors in a majority of situations. 

States with Republican leadership largely rejected using the passports, like Florida, where Gov Ron DeSantis signed an executive order banning their use in his state.

In states with Democratic leadership they have been further discussed, or even embraced.

In New York, the Excelsior Pass became the first vaccine passport to launch in the United States.

The vaccine passport created a stark difference between the vaccinated and the unvaccinated at an NBA playoff game at Madison Square Garden in New York City last month, where vaccinated fans in a majority of the stadium were allowed to sit close together unmasked.

Unvaccinated fans sat in a few sparsely populated sections of the stadium where they were required to distance from one another and where masks. 

Those kinds of disparities can inspire more Americans to get vaccinated, though.

The survey found that unvaccinated Democrats would be 46 percent more likely to get vaccinated if vaccine passports became commonplace. 

But unvaccinated Republicans are 37 percent more likely to get vaccinated in order to take part in activities that require a vaccine passports.  

There are some places where the opposing parties agree, though. 

A similar amount of Democrats, 46.5 percent, and Republicans, 45.6 percent, believe that using vaccine passports could be unfair to people who can not get vaccinated for religious of medical reasons.

More than 40 percent of both groups also worry about the passports leading to fraud and that having to share your vaccine status with businesses and other groups could be a privacy issue. 

Baby boomers were the most likely to have concerns over privacy. 

A stark difference appears when members of each party were asked whether or not they fear vaccine passports will lead to them being denied from activities because they do not believe in the vaccine.

More than 70 percent of Republicans answered that they do worry about it, while there were not enough Democrats who answered yes for USARx to register a percentage.   

Currently, around 60 percent of American adults have received at least one shot of a Covid-19 vaccine, though it may be tough to convince the remaining unvaccinated population to get the shot.

Demand for the vaccine has fallen in recent weeks, and public health officials have been doing whatever they can to incentivize people to come in and get jabbed.

Some states, like Ohio and Maryland, are even offering vaccine lottery programs that feature giveaways of up to $1 million. 

Around 20 percent of Americans will not receive the vaccine unless they are required to, though, according to data from the Kaiser Family Foundation, making herd immunity – which may not be reached until 80 percent of the population is vaccinated – a long shot. 

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