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Letters to the Editor: COVID-19 passports might create two-tiered citizenship. What’s wrong with that?

A passenger at Los Angeles International Airport has his temperature checked before being allowed to fly on Nov. 16, 2020.
A passenger at Los Angeles International Airport has his temperature checked before being allowed to fly in November.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: As your reporting indicates, the debate as to whether there should be proof of vaccination in France and elsewhere rages on, with concern that a de facto two-tier system of citizenship will exist. It appears there is a fear that this would put at a disadvantage those who are hesitant to get vaccinated, whether for personal, political or other reasons.

I would look at it another way: The need to have proof of vaccination will lead to many more on-the-fence people getting the needed preventive injection and will help the entire society in its effort to slow down the virus.

I would opine that the real disadvantage to this hesitant group is not becoming lower-tier citizens for activities such as traveling or eating out with friends, but rather that they will not be vaccinated against COVID-19. The sad outcome here is increased disease and death, to them and their friends.

If a two-tier system leads to more vaccination, then it should be implemented.

L. Scott Herman, M.D., Monrovia

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To the editor: In contemplating the requirement of COVID-19 passports, we should not overlook history.

At 76, I am old enough to remember when proof of smallpox inoculation was mandatory for international travel. Tuberculosis tests were required for many occupations.

There are times when the good of society as a whole must be prioritized above the liberties and privacy considerations of people reluctant for whatever reasons to be immunized. The global pandemic is one of those times.

Society as a whole has a right and, indeed, an obligation to protect its members from those who would spread a deadly disease.

Janet Weaver, Huntington Beach

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To the editor: For decades, many countries have relied on the internationally recognized yellow vaccine certificate. This especially applies to yellow fever, where the requirement mostly protects the country you are visiting.

Since this card is not a fancy app that requires an expensive device with frequent updates, and will work after you drive over it, it is not popular with the “device generation.”

No one questions the requirement, and no one claims it is elitist. It is just one of the requirements for travel to certain countries. Just use the system that already exists rather than create an expensive, specialized elitist method.

Keith Price, Los Angeles


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