LAURIE BARATTI AUGUST 13, 2021
Travel site Upgraded Points has just released a report on its recent consumer research that reveals Americans’ sentiments about various travel restrictions and the concept of vaccine passports. It also examined trends tied to age, gender and vaccination status.
Nearly 1,000 U.S. citizens from a range of demographics, were polled on various topics relating to so-called vaccine passports—defined as “a document proving you have been vaccinated against COVID-19”, whether paper or digital—between June 2 and 3, 2021
Despite ongoing controversy surrounding vaccine passports and fears about the potential limitation of personal freedoms, Upgraded Points’ survey results indicated that most Americans now support the idea. Most respondents were already familiar with the term “vaccine passport”, and close to 82 percent of them said that they now support the notion in one form or another. Women were seven percent more likely to support the concept than men.
Generationally speaking, Baby Boomers were the least likely to support vaccine passports (77 percent). Their responses were given to change conditionally, based on such factors as whether or not masks are worn, or the given setting, such as airports, planes or other enclosed spaces. More than half (61 percent) of participants felt that vaccine passports would infringe on the personal rights of unvaccinated individuals. Older generations were also more likely to be wary of healthcare inequity and data privacy issues, and the potential for forged documents.
The survey also sought to ascertain whether vaccination mandates for certain activities—domestic travel, sitting indoors at a restaurant, or attending sporting events/concerts—would influence people to get inoculated.
50.9 percent of survey participants said that a vaccination mandate on domestic travel would influence them to get vaccinated; restrictions on sporting events or concerts would make 49.1 percent more likely to get the jab; and 48.8 percent said they’d be more likely to get vaccinated if it were required to enjoy a sit-down meal in a restaurant. Overall, the survey found that requiring vaccine passports would make unvaccinated respondents more likely to go get their vaccines.
Participants were also asked whether they believe it’s fair to demand that customers supply proof of vaccination for airplane travel and to stay in hotels, and if they think cruise lines and travel companies should start requiring vaccine passports.
74 percent of the survey group supporting requiring vaccine passports to fly on an airplane. 50.9 percent of respondents said they’d be more likely to travel domestically if vaccine passport requirements were implemented, with women (59 percent) being more likely than men (52 percent) to say proof of vaccinations should be required for travel.
“As with all public health issues, education is key,” remarked Upgraded Points’ founder and CEO, Alex Miller. “Discussing this topic openly has given people a chance to consider why this might be less of a personal freedoms debate and much more of a health-emergency response. The survey numbers show us that more people are beginning to realize getting the vaccine will help limit the spread of COVID-19 while traveling. Especially now, with the delta variant spreading so rapidly.”