PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — What a difference a couple of months can make. The race to vaccinate has changed from a supply issue to a lack of demand issue.
The result is a growing divide between the vaccinated and the non-vaccinated.
Senior Scholar and Infectious Disease Specialist from Johns Hopkins Dr. Amesh Adalja says the divide means people are going to be treated differently based on their vaccine status.
“The US Government has no plans to kind of issue a vaccine passport. Private businesses may have an interest in knowing your vaccine status, because then they can have, for example, in the area of a concert hall where all vaccinated people sit where they may not have to have the same mitigation measures. It’s not so much that they’re going to ban people it might be if you don’t have a vaccine, you have to social distance, or you have to sit in this area where we have people spaced out.”
Dr. Adalja says this is really no difference than a private business establishing rules like ‘no shirt, no shoes, no service.’ It’s not about curtailing people’s freedoms, it’s about trying to remove the risk that you might pose to other people by being somebody who could unwittingly carry this virus. So that’s why you might do screening or testing or have different mask policies for someone who was not vaccinated. Because you don’t have the right to infect other people with an infectious disease, and what the vaccine does is remove that threat.”
It also allows businesses to create a friendlier environment for those who have been vaccinated to attract them back to spend their money.
“So if a business wants to say, for vaccinated people, they don’t have to wear masks, or they don’t have to social distance, or we can have a section where vaccinated people can do things in a different manner. I think that’s that’s perfectly fine when private businesses do that.”
While the CDC is in the process of lifting the outdoor mask mandate, Dr. Adalja does not expect that to happen for indoor masking anytime soon.
“We don’t have enough people vaccinated to really remove that that mass mandate in general public settings, but I think it will come likely in the summer as more people get vaccinated. Right now, indoor settings are likely to see this mask mandate persist for a couple of more months in Pennsylvania.”