Michael Gove dismissed the suggestion, insisting there were no plans to introduce any form of special identification for those who get hit.
“I certainly don’t plan to introduce vaccine passports, and I don’t know anyone else in government who is,” he told Sky News.
Live coronavirus updates on final day of England’s lockdown
This possibility was raised Monday by the new minister of vaccines Nadhim Zahawi.
He revealed that the government was considering issuing “immunity passports” and suggested that businesses like bars and cinemas “would likely use this system as well.”
But the move sparked some anger – Tory MP Marcus Fysh calling it “ignorant authoritarianism” and civil liberties group Big Brother Watch warning of “health apartheid.”
In an effort to allay concerns, Cabinet Minister Michael Gove insisted there was no plan to force people to get vaccinated if they wanted to go to certain places.
When asked if that was a possibility, he told Kay Burley, “No. I think the most important thing to do is get as many people vaccinated as possible.
“There are three vaccines that are currently undergoing proper testing to make sure they’re absolutely safe and the most important thing is to make sure that we have as many people as possible – starting with the most vulnerable, then those who work on the front line of the NHS – vaccinated effectively. ”
He said there were a significant number of conspiracy theorists and admitted “it’s a big challenge because we have to persuade the people who oppose taking a vaccine that it’s in our collective best interest” .
It is estimated that for herd immunity to be achieved, between 50 and 80% of the population must receive a vaccine, depending on the effectiveness of the vaccine.
“I think we can pick up on some of the anti-vax squad’s arguments, they’re not really science-based,” Gove added.
“There is a very rigorous process that we follow to make sure the vaccines are safe. ”
Mr Gove also downplayed the possibility of another national lockdown in 2021, following concerns from scientists that relaxing Christmas rules would lead to a growth of coronavirus case.
“I’m as confident as I am confident that we won’t need it,” he said.