Covid Vaccine Passports: Coming to a Store Near You?

Editor’s note: This week’s Future View discusses “vaccine passports.” Next week, in light of responses to Georgia’s new voting law, we’ll ask, “Why are more companies taking stances on controversial political issues, and is it good that they do?” Students can click here to submit opinions of fewer than 250 words before April 13. The best responses will be published that night.

Let the Market Work

Businesses face a trade-off between safety and serving customers. If they don’t require vaccine passports, they may put people at risk of infection. But if businesses require vaccine passports, they bar customers who haven’t gotten shots.

It isn’t obvious which policy is the right one. More concert-goers may buy tickets if they are guaranteed that other attendees will be vaccinated, but tennis players may demand no such requirement, given their lower risk of contracting the disease. What policy is optimal for which industry depends on the specifics of the operation.

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