According to a government adviser, the expansion of Covid vaccine passports in Scotland could backfire.
Professor Stephen Reicher warned that the scheme’s planned expansion could ‘increase the level of vaccination resistance’ among some people.
According to one of the Government’s advisers, expanding Covid vaccine passports in Scotland could backfire by making some people even less likely to get their shots.
Professor Stephen Reicher believes that the scheme’s expansion will “increase the level of resistance” to vaccination among those who are already skeptical.
He also stated that “absolutely no evidence” exists that the introduction of vaccine passports in Scotland has prompted people to seek vaccinations.
His remarks come ahead of Nicola Sturgeon’s major announcement on Tuesday, when she is expected to expand the scheme to include pubs, restaurants, and other venues.
Only people entering nightclubs, some late-night bars, and major live events are required to show proof of full vaccination under the current scheme, which began on October 1.
The changes will go into effect on December 6, but the specifics will not be revealed until the Cabinet approves them.
The return of lockdown-style restrictions, according to a Scottish Government evidence paper published last week, was the only alternative to extending vaccine passports.
Ministers faced a “choice” between this and more drastic measures such as “closing venues, limiting group sizes, and advising people not to meet others,” according to the report.
Professor Reicher, a behavioural psychologist who sits on the Covid-19 advisory group for the Scottish Government as well as Sage, which advises the UK Government, is skeptical of the move.
“The problem is that skeptics, who believe that vaccines are used to control you, become more negative, and you end up with a larger pool of people who are defiant and resistant,” he told the BBC.
“What’s more, you lend credence to those political bodies who argue that vaccines are about controlling you.”
He suggested a number of “better ways” to persuade people to get vaccinated, including bringing the vaccine directly to people rather than relying on NHS appointments and compensating those who are forced to miss work.
“When you look at the evidence in Scotland, there isn’t any evidence at all.”
News summary from Infosurhoy in the United Kingdom.
According to a government adviser, expanding the Covid vaccine passport program in Scotland could backfire.