The Future of Travel and Immunisation in a Pandemic


Many countries, where vaccination campaigns for Covid-19 are in full swing, are debating the introduction of a “vaccine passport” to reignite international travel and reopen economies.  The argument in the passport’s favour is that it could motivate people to get vaccinated which also means you will be unlikely to suffer from severe Covid-19 disease that might require hospitalisation.

The argument against the passport is that there is presently no concrete evidence that being vaccinated can prevent you transmitting the disease.   Whether the passport eventuates or not, frontline workers will all be required to be vaccinated for Covid -19 to protect themselves, their families and their patients.   Airlines at present are requesting proof of a negative Covid test before boarding while Qantas has flagged that they may require proof of vaccination once normal flight schedules resume.  Our clients already require proof of vaccination for Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Pertussis, Varicella, Hep B and the Flu.  We expect the Covid-19 vaccine to be added to this list as the roll-out continues worldwide.

The public may come across mixed and often confusing messages that can leave them feeling ambivalent about vaccination.   However, vaccination has repeatedly demonstrated it is one of the most effective interventions to prevent disease worldwide.  It is thought to be one of most important developments in medicine in the past 150 years, alongside sanitation, antibiotics and anaesthesia.  Vaccination currently saves an estimated 3 million lives per year throughout the world, making it one of the most cost-effective interventions available.

Many people like to argue that Covid-19 is no more than a bad flu.  This is simply not true and the data proves it.  Seasonal influenza causes tens of thousands of deaths every year. Covid-19 has caused hundreds of thousands deaths in a year and millions more are predicted to happen in the absence of any intervention.  Further, the flu does not generally leave sufferers with long term residual health problems while Covid-19 sufferers continue to experience an array of ongoing health issues.