Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi has insisted to MPs in the Commons that vaccine passports are necessary to end the pandemic. The evidence, however, suggests otherwise. While the U.K. has seen a spike in reported ‘cases’ in recent days, much of it is driven by the increase in testing as schools have returned. The positive rate, by contrast, shows a gentle decline. There’s no sign here of vaccine passports being needed to prevent unmanageable spread. What about elsewhere? Israel is a highly vaccinated country which got in there early with vaccines, so that upwards of 55% of the population has been double vaccinated since early April, and it has made extensive use of vaccine passports. India, by contrast, is a low vaccination country which only recently broke through 10% double vaccinated. How are they faring? Israel is currently experiencing a big surge in Delta infections, at a time when over 62% of the population is double vaccinated. India was the first place to have a Delta wave, back in March and April (the variant, of course, was first identified there). New reported infections entered sharp and sustained decline around May 9th. At that point, fewer than 2.5% of the population were double vaccinated. Clearly, then, vaccines do not prevent Delta outbreaks, and neither are they necessary to end them.
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