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Opinion divided in S. Korea over vaccine pass proposals Updated: 2021-10-20 09:16:56 KST

As part of a gradual return to normal life, the South Korean health authorities are considering a so-called vaccine pass for access to public facilities and businesses, but as in other countries, the idea is controversial.
Some see it as a way to encourage people to get vaccinated.

"I personally think we do need vaccine passes. If we're going to live with COVID-19 going forward, we probably need some level of herd immunity by having more people get vaccinated. Then we'll be able to get through this faster."

"I think it's a great idea. If you can show that you are vaccinated, why not go out and flash around?"

The idea has found favor among some small businesses too, who expect it'll bring back business.

"I've been struggling in the pandemic. I'm in favor of vaccine passes because
they'll encourage more people to come here and boost the vaccination rate."

"How hard has it been for you?"

"Very hard. I couldn't pay the rent, and I had to let go of some of my employees. Now I work on my own."

Others say this could be a violation of personal liberty.

"I think it’s a matter of individual freedom. The choice to get vaccinated or not is a personal one.
Being subject to restrictions based on your vaccination status is an infringement of individual choice."

For those who support vaccine passes, the question is why despite these concerns is it so important to implement the system or consider doing so.

"The reason we need to introduce a vaccine pass is to ensure a return to normal life for the vaccinated. This is seen as an essential step toward living with the virus."

He said the number of infections could rise to 5-thousand a day or higher.
So the key is to make it safer to have large gatherings to stop the virus from spreading among the unvaccinated.
But at the same time, a vaccine pass should not be required at essential places.

"You should not be denied access to public places simply because you don’t have a vaccine pass.
It should never be used in a way that violates personal freedom or choice. But it's fine to use it at non-essential venues, or places people go for convenience."

The details of the proposed vaccine pass are not out yet.
But the Korean authorities will be gathering public opinion on the matter until November 24th.
Choi Won-jong, Arirang News.
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