Tue | Oct 26, 2021

Taking COVID vaccine is common sense

Published:Wednesday | March 31, 2021 | 12:08 AM


With very few exceptions worldwide, every country has similar standards to obtain a driver’s permit/licence. Global standards also broadly apply for registration and insurance of motor vehicles, and for facilitating an international driver’s permit/licence when travelling abroad. The system works well, and so did the World Health Organization (WHO) International Vaccination Certificate which was a requirement for every mariner who worked on ocean-going vessels, as I learned over six decades ago.

The system was already in place when I joined my first ship as a boy, having just been vaccinated against smallpox, yellow fever, cholera and other awful-sounding deadly diseases prevalent in parts of the world at that time. Those vaccinations were updated periodically as necessary throughout the next quarter-century of my seagoing career. The efficient system applied to every sailor of every nationality under every flag, so surely it’s easy to revive a similar WHO Certificate for today’s pandemic.

In light of ongoing and sometimes tedious global discussions of pros and cons surrounding a “vaccination passport” for COVID-19, that old chestnut about the simplest explanation is usually the right one seals the deal for me.

That philosophy is called Ockham’s razor or the law of parsimony, dating back about 700 years to an English theologian named William of Ockham. Everybody worldwide who gets the vaccine today would be issued with a WHO Certificate to be shown when travelling across intentional borders, or at crowded events domestically, or wherever and whenever health authorities deem necessary. Those who do not wish to have the vaccine would be excluded from travelling, attending events or whatever, just like back in the day when mariners could not join a deep-sea vessel without a valid WHO Certificate.

Maybe an early solution to the vacillating about vaccination passports would change the minds of some scofflaws whose disregard restrictions, causing the virus to spread as they act like real Covidiots. It only takes a little common sense using Ockham’s razor.


Parksville, BC