Professor Stephen Reicher said passports wouldn’t be needed if everyone was trapped
Turning national Covid vaccine passports green would be an admission by ministers that the deployment of the jab is doomed to fail, a government scientist warned today.
Professor Stephen Reicher, a senior social psychologist who sits at SAGE, said forcing people to produce jab certificates to enjoy their freedoms would only make sense if enough people were trapped.
But vaccine uptake has already exceeded the government’s most ambitious expectations, with more than 90% of people over 50 having accepted their invitation. The deployment is going so well that it is already over 40 years ahead of schedule.
The expert from the University of St Andrew said at a hearing with the all-party parliamentary group on the coronavirus today that the government would “Prepare for failure” if he took the national vaccine route.
He told MPs: “It would be recognition that we are not getting enough people vaccinated. ”
“Logically, you don’t need a vaccination passport if everyone is vaccinated. You only need a vaccination passport when the participation rate is limited. “
Professor Reicher warned that a really strict vaccine certification regime could undermine the vaccination program and cause more people to refuse a vaccine.
He said intentional beatings would be mandatory by proxy and would create resentment and anger among the public.
Professor Reicher warned that convincing people would lead to significant numbers of people refusing him in protest.
“There is a very traditional and well-known psychological process called reactance: that of the deprivation of people’s autonomy.
“If you force them to do something, they will reaffirm their autonomy, even if it means not doing things they would like to do otherwise.
“Making something mandatory, or at least doing something that leaves the perception of compulsion, can actually undermine activities that people would otherwise and might even want to do.
Boris Johnson vowed the vaccination program alone would be the country’s ticket to freedom and insisted the government was determined to avoid a mandatory system.
Covid vaccine passports have already been confirmed for the resumption of overseas travel on May 17, but the exact way they will be deployed in the country remains unknown.
The Prime Minister has ruled out using them for going to the pub or supermarket, but the government is now testing a similar system for larger events such as concerts, sports matches and club nights.
Under this system, people are allowed in as long as they can prove some form of Covid immunity – either by a recent negative test, proof that they have already had and recovered from the virus, or proof of vaccination. .
MPS, PUBS AND RESTAURANTS INVITE PM TO ACCELERATE THE END OF RESTRICTIONS
MPs, businesses, pubs and restaurants are calling for the lockdown to end sooner after only one death from Covid was recorded yesterday.
Even ‘Professor Lockdown’ is now optimistic that the vaccines will crush the third wave of coronavirus in the UK and that life in Britain ‘will feel a lot more normal by the summer’.
Neil Ferguson, the SAGE adviser and Imperial College London epidemiologist, whose grim predictions of the death toll led Britain to its first lockdown last year, said today he was expected the vaccine rollout to help keep the UK out of lockdown for good.
His comments will be picked up by Tory MPs calling for accelerating England’s ultra-cautious roadmap to normalcy. The Prime Minister has so far refused to budge in the face of calls for more freedom, with restrictions set to remain in place until June 21 – billed as England’s Independence Day.
Sir Robert Syms, Conservative MP for Poole in Dorset, said yesterday: “We have to push the government to keep going. Much of normal life could be restored ”. He said the country “would lose another summer” if the rules were not relaxed quickly.
Desperate business owners called on ministers to act faster, with one restaurant chef saying reservations had been canceled due to “terrible weather.” Hospitality chiefs have said it is essential that commerce be returned to “unrestricted” on June 21.
The next easing of the lockdown is slated for less than two weeks on Monday, May 17, when people will be allowed to gather in large groups outside and small groups inside. Public holidays abroad should also be allowed at the same time.
More than 34 million Britons have now received at least one dose of the Covid vaccine, according to the latest NHS figures, and 15.6 million have been completely trapped.
Vaccine uptake has generally been high across the country, but there are concerns about critical skepticism in BAME communities, linked to historical inequalities, and among young people, who consider themselves less exposed to the virus.
Professor Reicher added: “In the contemporary evidence on people who have doubts and are reluctant to get the vaccine, the feeling is that it can lead people to become more alienated.
“To reopen our society, the key is to increase community involvement.
“But if a particular vaccine passport creates alienation and hinders its adoption, it is counterproductive and limits our ability to keep people safe and limits our ability to reopen society.
He added: “If the suggestion that a vaccination passport reduces the proportion of people willing to be vaccinated is true, the passport becomes counterproductive. “
During the committee, he also warned that the UK cannot afford to be complacent when it reopens its borders for travel.
Professor Reicher said there were 6 million infections worldwide last week, as many as in the first five months of last year.
Britain made up a tiny fraction of the latest figures, registering just 14,000 cases last week. There were over 100,000 a day in the darkest days of January.
“We were a little complacent when we saw him in China, when we saw him in Italy, then he came here – so we can’t afford to be complacent again,” he said. added.
“We shouldn’t make the same mistake people have elsewhere, where immunization is high in countries like Chile.
“Let us not forget that two months ago, the Indian Prime Minister said” we are at the height of the pandemic “.
“If you’re complacent, he can come back and bite you.”
Boris Johnson is expected to re-authorize overseas vacations in less than two weeks and unveil a system of “traffic lights” indicating countries people can visit without quarantine.
But the prime minister warned it would be “reasonable” to avoid importing a new wave of the virus – a sign the government could take a tough stance during the holidays.
Reports suggest that less than a dozen European countries should be on the “green” list of dumping requirements for self-isolation upon their return.
It comes after Professor Neil Ferguson said stays abroad in countries like France and Italy would be “safe” as they have a similar infection rate to the UK.
There were 6 million cases of Covid worldwide last week, up from 6 million in the first five months of the pandemic
Boris Johnson is expected to allow summer vacation again on May 17, but reports suggest he will drop quarantine requirements for only a few countries
For the first time, the Prime Minister confirmed that “certain openings” of international travel would start from May 17th. An official announcement will be made later this week
Professor Ferguson, who scared ministers in the first lockdown with his death predictions, said the UK could reopen its borders with countries that have a similar infection rate as they do not pose a greater risk .
“I think that if, for example, the summer infection levels in France and Italy are at the same level as here, then there is no risk associated with traveling abroad,” he said. declared.
“The risk comes from a place like the UK, with very low infection levels, and of going back to a place with much higher infection levels, and therefore of having the risk of bringing back infections. .
“If the two places are at comparable levels, and that’s what the EU says, then there is no particular risk associated with travel. ”