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Reasons why a Covid vaccine passport is a bad idea, particularly in South Africa

Let’s start off my acknowledging that covid does not affect the whole population equally. There are 2 groups:

Group 1, the susceptible: Person’s who have not yet had Covid, +50 years of age and those of any age that are fat, diabetic, asthmatic or have some other comorbidity that has shown to produce negative affects in dealing with covid infection

Group 2, the non-susceptible: Person’s who have already had Covid and those under 50 years of age who are in general good health

Applying a blanket policy whereby everyone is treated the same is wrong and also has no basis in science. Yes there have been some unfortunate unexplainable incidents of seemingly healthy people in their 30’s who died of Covid, but that is the 1 in a million occurrence. You can’t create blanket policy to cover the 1 in a million’s. If we apply this Covid thinking to other aspects of our lives, we may as well reduce the speed limit to 30kph because research shows that no one dies in car crashes at speeds of 30kph or less

Let’s wave a magic wand and imagine that everyone is group 2, all healthy people under 50, are fully vaccinated tomorrow. What effect will this have on Covid deaths and hospitalisations? Negligible. That’s the answer. Mass vaccination of healthy under 50’s is going to have almost zero effect on Covid data. Over an entire population a handful of people might be saved (the 1 in a millions)

Practical Issues

Vaccine passports will place an unnecessary burden on small businesses. This mandate will force restaurant, bar, nightclub, holiday destination and venue owners to police the system. Now they have to check papers for everyone entering their establishments under threat of heavy fines as penalties. They might be strict for a while but eventually checking so strictly will lapse. Say a group of 10 people arrive, the first 4 will be checked and everyone will be waved in. Ask yourself this: Would you as a restaurant owner really want to be chasing customers away because they cant show you a piece of paper? The entertainment industry is already on its knees and you now you want to make their lives more difficult. Those raids we used to have at nightclubs looking for drugs will be repeated except the police will come round asking for vaccine papers and God forbid they find someone without their papers, the establishment will be issued a severe fine. Can you imagine these fines closing down a business? Now we’ve got 15 people out of work and you’ve contributed to the greatest disease of all, poverty. There will be unintended real life consequences. We’ve all forgotten a mask at some point over the last 19 months, people will forget and misplace the vax passport as well.

Making 18 year olds show an extra piece of paper to get into a bar is totally redundant. We used to go to clubs with long queues and 500 people inside. The idea of being denied entry because you forgot a piece of paper at home, for proof of vaccination for a virus that cannot hurt you makes no logical sense. No one has ever asked an adult to show proof of vaccine for mumps, measles, chicken-pox and rubella….why is covid special?

Where does it end?

By all accounts the vaccine is already waning and “booster shots” are on the cards. Israel now considers the vaccination passport invalid if it’s more than 6 months old and can only be kept up to date with proof of a booster. If covid becomes like the flu and does not go away, are you prepared to take a booster shot every 6 months for the rest of your life?

South Africa specific

This will never work in our country. The Police have enough on their plates and will in all likelihood lead to further corruption. The Police are going to “catch” people and the bar owner is going to pay the cop R1,000 to leave and ignore. A large chunk of our population do not own a smartphone enabling one to seamlessly enter establishments by opening an app. It’s also going to be a throwback to the forced Dompas, an apartheid regime piece of paper that told black people where they were “allowed” to go. I can see the government trying to implement but it will never work and will soon be totally ignored like the e-toll system.

Natural immunity: The elephant in the room

By all accounts, natural immunity obtained from previous infection is stronger than vaccine immunity. Doctors have known for decades that re-infection for a disease that one has already overcome is statistically insignificant. Why are these people being discounted? What makes Covid special? There is not much on google regarding re-infections (I speculate it has something to do with the authorities not wanting it advertised that your chances of re-infection are minimal and they don’t want information out there that is deemed “anti-vax”.) What I could find is this link to a study shown below which came to the conclusion that the reinfection rate was 7 in a 1000, and here’s the kicker, all 7 of those re-infected were hospitalised the first time round (a severe case) i.e. they have compromised immune systems i.e. if you are healthy your chance of reinfection is practically zero. All I keep hearing from health authorities is “the vaccine provides additional protection” – They can’t say how much, is it 1%? Is it 3%? It’s like being told that we must now wear 2 seatbelts because it’s “slightly” safer. We’ve all heard of people getting Covid twice but ask yourself this important question: Are there any people out there who got Covid the first time who rode it out at home, who then got Covid a 2nd time and died or were even hospitalised? i.e. who had it worse the 2nd time round? I can’t imagine this is a thing. This basically means that if you get it again then so what, you feel shitty for a few days and isolate at home like you did the 1st time around….IF in the future Covid mutates to a point where the vaccination have no effect, then the natural immunity argument falls away as your antibodies will not work either (the same way they work for last years flu that you had but won’t work for this years flu). But for the time being, natural immunity is brilliant.

The vaccine does not stop infections and the spreading of Covid

It would be lovely if the vaccine stopped the spread, but it simply doesn’t unfortunately. Breakthrough cases (getting Covid after you have been vaccinated) are prevalent. One only needs to look at the two graphs below to draw this conclusion. The UK and Israel have massively high vaccine compliance rates and yet the case rates in their 3rd waves were not diminished at all, in fact Israel’s is higher. Here is the truth: The Covid vaccine has 1 single function, an amazing an important function I might add, its function is to reduce severity of illness. People that would have died end up in hospital for a while and people that would have ended up in hospital recover at home. Operation warp speed was an amazing human achievement. For clarity we should not be calling this a vaccine, in reality it is a therapy. And that’s one of the main points in this discussion: forcing a group of people (group 2) to take a therapy that they don’t need has no real scientific basis. IF this therapy stopped the spread then this whole argument crumbles as we could end this thing by taking a shot in he arm. It is unfortunately not true. A thought I keep having that I don’t understand: if you are vaccinated then what do you care if the stranger next to you is not? They are no more “dangerous” to you than a vaccinated person.


You don’t need to be Doctor or Scientist to look at data and draw the obvious conclusions, one merely needs to apply a semblance of logic.

If we are going to force a Covid vaccination then we may as FORCE annual heart and cancer screenings and we may as well mandate diet and exercise. That will save a lot more people.

Let me end off by stating that I am pro vaccine. All my children are up to date with their vaccinations. It’s also clear looking at the death rate (in the UK in particular) that the Covid vaccine/therapy has had a significant effect. Scroll up to the 1st graph which shows a massive difference in deaths in the 50+ age group (group 1) for vaccinated persons. All us “antivaxxers” (jokes) are saying is that it makes no sense to force people with natural immunity to get this vaccination and it makes no sense to force group 2 to get this vaccination. You are targeting the wrong group and it will make very little difference anyway. If it were up to me, we’d be going door to door, specifically in the townships to make it easy for poor people who don’t want to spend money on a taxi to take to a vaccination site, specifically targeting group 1. Group 1’s vaccine compliance should be +90% but at the end of the day, you can provide all the information in the world but you cannot FORCE. This passport idea is a FORCE. Lastly, if you are part of group 2 and want to take it anyway then power to you, no one is stopping you and no one has anything negative to say about it. Your body your choice right?

You can be pro vaccine and pro choice at the same time. A position a lot more people should be taking.

Duane Loubser

Duane Loubser

Duane Loubser is a sports, nature, travel and comedy enthusiast. Proud South African, Christian and father of a daughter and twin boys.

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