SUNDAY, 18 July 2021: The prime minister Muhyddin Yassin said that the easing of restrictions for individuals who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 will be decided at the National Recovery Council meeting next week. The prime minister said the proposed relaxation would serve as a benefit or incentive for those who have completed the two-dose vaccination.

“Despite the growing consensus worldwide about the utilization of ‘green passes’ (why they are green is still obscure) for giving back their lives to people, linking individual liberties to vaccine passports is discriminatory and harmful. While the communists persecuted the bourgeois as inferior and dangerous subjects, and Nazis did the same with the Jews, we may – without realizing it – treating in the same way those who for several reasons are not vaccinated”, said Dr Carmelo Ferlito, CEO of the Center for Market Education (CME).

The Center for Market Education invites to reflect on the following points:

  • Vaccination is an important part of the fight against COVID-19 but we need to recognize that studies about the currently available vaccines are not yet fully mature.
  • Consequences of vaccination on particular categories of individuals at risk, such as cancer patients, need still to be assessed.
  • The scientific debate over the opportunity of mass vaccination during a pandemic rather than after it is far from over, and a part of the scientific community warned about the possibility for the virus to evolve and become stronger precisely because of mass vaccination during the pandemic.

CME adds that, for consolidated vaccinations, vaccinated people are not concerned about their neighbors being vaccinated too, because they expect to be protected by the shot. Currently, instead, we want to limit individual liberties of the non-vaccinated in order to protect the vaccinated ones, which sounds scientifically illogical. There are only two potential reasons for this: desire of control over people’s lives or lack of trust on the positive features of the currently available vaccines. If we disregard the first political hypothesis, and we take into account the second one (which is justifiable, giving the current stage of COVID-19 vaccine research), it becomes all the more risky to introduce a sort of indirect obligatoriness of vaccination.

Furthermore, the currently available vaccines are not preventing from being infected or being able to infect others. And, therefore, a vaccination passport is not a safety certificate.

The Center for Market Education, thus, believes that the proposal of massfrequent and affordable testing, as described in our recent policy paper, together with a proper system of electronic tracking, can work better in our process to allow individuals to gain back their individual (human, social and economic) liberties. In fact, being tested on a weekly basis (with less invasive and cheaper instruments such as the saliva test) has the following advantages:

  • It is non-discriminatory toward those individuals who may feel at risk by getting vaccinated.
  • More than vaccines, it can reflect an evolutionary individual situation, whereby a negative subject could become positive the week after (and the vaccine is not able to avoid this).
  • It supplies a more dynamic framework (we know that vaccines have limited time efficacy) with less logistic troubles (vaccination rollout – as we saw – is not easy) and therefore would allow a faster come back to normalcy.

In conclusion, CME, while still pushing for investments to strengthen the healthcare system and to improve the search for a pharmacological protocol (Ivermectin should be given a chance), believes that the better way to go back to normal lives is massfrequent and affordable testing, rather than the discriminatory distribution of individual liberties based on controversial vaccination passports.

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About CME: The Center for Market Education (CME) is a boutique think-tank based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. As an academic and educational institution, CME aims to promote a more pluralistic and multidisciplinary approach to economics and to spread the knowledge of a sounder economics, grounded in the understanding of market forces. In order to do so, CME is not only involved in academic initiatives, but it organizes seminars, webinars and tailor-made economics classes for students, journalists, businesspeople and professionals who wish to better understand the relevance of economics for their daily lives and activities. Economics matters and needs to be presented in a fashion in which the link with reality is clearly visible. In this sense, we look not only at theoretical economics but also at policy making, with an emphasis on the unintended consequences generated by political actions.