David Lazer in News@Northeastern: What Do Vaccine Passports Mean To You?
by Peter Ramjug, News@Northeastern
With more than 120 million U.S. residents fully vaccinated and eager to visit book stores and restaurants again, some businesses may require people to show vaccine credentials to prove that they have received their shots. The issue has ignited a political controversy, leading researchers to wonder: Has the phrase “vaccine passports” become politicized?
The answer, according to a survey by researchers from Northeastern, Harvard, Northwestern, and Rutgers, is no.
A passport is documentation that proves a person has been fully immunized against SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Some of the credentials come in the form of a wallet-size card handed out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, others can be pulled up on a phone as an app.
Whether to adopt vaccine passports is not widely agreed upon by business owners, politicians, or the public. Researchers sought to find just how large the divide was over the issue. They were surprised to learn that the public was not as split over the term “vaccine passports” as they had expected.
“We thought that there might be a very sizable difference in attitudes among respondents, but in reality we did not find a very substantial difference,” says David Lazer, university distinguished professor of political science and computer sciences at Northeastern and one of the researchers who conducted the study.