Scottish Health Secretary ‘Sceptical’ About Vaccine Passports but Won’t Rule It Out

July 21, 2021 Updated: July 21, 2021

The Scottish Health Secretary has refused to rule out mandatory vaccine passports to get more people to take CCP virus vaccines, despite being “naturally, instinctively sceptical” about the idea.

Full CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus vaccination will be made the condition of entry to nightclubs and other crowded venues in England from late September, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday, as 35 percent of 18–30-year-olds in England didn’t take up their offer to get their first dose of the vaccine.

Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland make their own decisions on health regulations. All of the devolved administrations are banking on their vaccination programmes as the main tool to control the pandemic.

The latest figures from Public Health Scotland showed about 30 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds and 20 percent of 30- to 39-year-olds in Scotland haven’t taken up their vaccination offer.

Scottish Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser called the figure “alarming” as he believes “if we’re going to defeat this virus we need to get the population vaccinated.”

Fraser said requiring a vaccine passport or proof of a negative coronavirus test to attend large-scale events like nightclubs or concerts is a “reasonable proposition.”

Speaking on BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland programme, Scottish Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said he is “naturally, instinctively sceptical” about vaccine passports, saying groups representing young people have told him of fears these could “increase the inequality gap.”

“We are making incredible success with our vaccination programme rollout, so I would like to look at what we can do to be proactive, as opposed to denying young people entry to a pub or a night club, I would much rather think about positive incentives,” Yousaf said.

But he refused to rule out the introduction of vaccine passports.

“In extremis, we might have to think about what else we might need to do in order to get more of the population vaccinated, so it protects us all,” he said.

“We wouldn’t rule it out entirely, but it’s certainly something I am instinctively quite sceptical about.”

Interim Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alistair Carmichael objected to a vaccine passport scheme, saying it’s “probably one of the most pointless and divisive exercises you can imagine.”

“They will leave behind those who are not vaccinated for good reason or otherwise,” Carmichael said.

“If you have got everyone vaccinated then, frankly, you wonder whether it would be worth the expense and hassle,” he added.

“To threaten people in order to get the vaccine I think is the wrong approach altogether and I think it would be massively divisive.”

PA contributed to this report.