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posted by martyb on Tuesday August 24 2021, @11:03AM   Printer-friendly

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2021/08/covid-19-vaccine-cards-why-so-big/619707/

This spring, as New York City warmed up and the local vaccination rate surged, I met my best friend for our first restaurant meal together in months. As soon as we sat down, she began rifling through her purse. "I have something for you," she told me. From her bag came a rectangle of clear, thick, double-layered plastic—the kind of display pocket that often dangles at the end of a lanyard. My friend had swiped a handful from her office's supply closet. "It's for your vaccine card," she explained. But I already knew.

When I got my first shot, in late February, I sat in the mandatory waiting area, holding my new card in one hand and my wallet in the other, trying to understand why the two objects weren't compatible. I contemplated where I should put this brand-new golden ticket, ultimately sliding the thin piece of too-large card stock into an envelope I found in my tote. I'm going to either lose this or destroy it, I thought to myself.

Indeed, I lost it—at least for a little while. Despite dutifully sliding the card into its new protective pocket after lunch with my friend, I eventually found myself tearing my apartment apart searching for it, for exactly the reasons I had feared: It was the wrong size for the one place where most people keep all their important everyday documents, and of too nebulous a purpose to sit safely in a drawer with my birth certificate and passport. Could it unlock some sort of privileges at the airport? Were restaurants going to check it? Did I need to take it to medical appointments? My card had gotten shuffled into a sandwich baggie filled with extra masks, not to be rediscovered for six weeks.

With all due respect to our country's overworked and undersupported public-health apparatus: This is dumb. The card is dumb, and it's difficult to imagine a series of intentional decisions that could have reasonably led to it as the consensus best pick. Its strangeness had been a bit less important in the past seven months, when evidence of immunity was rarely necessary to do things within America. Now, as Delta-variant cases surge and more municipalities and private businesses begin to require proof of vaccination to patronize places such as restaurants and gyms, the rubber has met the road on this flimsy de facto verification apparatus. It's not the highest-stakes question of this stage of the pandemic, but it's one that's become quite common: How did we end up with these cards?

What size are the COVID-19 vaccine ID cards in other (non-USA) countries?


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  • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Tuesday August 24 2021, @04:14PM

    by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday August 24 2021, @04:14PM (#1170368) Journal

    I agree with you 100% regarding the assumption that everybody has a smartphone. I just tell many people that I haven't and I certainly don't tell anyone the number unless I can see a benefit to myself rather than to the person asking.

    However, I do not agree with some of the assumptions that you make regarding people who have medical exemptions.

    They don't need QR codes for such people - here you only need to prove that you are vaccinated if you want to enter certain spaces, usually social, which are likely to be crowded (restaurants, festivals, big events etc). If you have a medical exemption there is no problem, you can still do all the essential things like get treatment, do your shopping, go out for exercise.

    But if you cannot be vaccinated then you shouldn't be going into crowded social events is the way most people here view it. If you have a weakened immune system for example, as my wife did, she was told to avoid such places for her own safety, not because she risked giving others a virus that she did not have. She could never have the annual flu vaccine either. She had to protect herself long before the CV-19 problem started. So she didn't have the CV-19 vaccine but she had to take measures to keep herself safe and healthy, and that meant staying away from places where she would be at particular risk

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