TESTAMENT guitarist Alex Skolnick says that he is in favor of some kind of a coronavirus vaccine passport program whereby concert venues can ask patrons to show proof of testing or vaccination before attending certain events.
A vaccine passport is a physical or digital document that displays whether someone is fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Critics say that such passports are a violation of privacy and an example of government overreach. Meanwhile, supporters point out that federal immigration law already requires that immigrants provide proof of vaccination status for several diseases.
Skolnick addressed the hot-button issue in a brand new interview with André Cholmondeley of Make Weird Music. Asked what he thinks about clubs and promoters around the country announcing that they will begin staging events for only those guests who show proof of full vaccination, Alex said: "Yeah, I think that's what we need to do. And it's also gonna be limited capacity as well."
He continued: "To go to certain countries, we need to get a yellow fever shot, and we carry this card that's put out by the World Health Organization that is proof of vaccination. What's the difference? We've been doing this for years. We wouldn't think otherwise. We don't wanna risk getting somebody else sick. So why would there be an issue here? And then, when people complain about the vaccine — 'I don't know what's in it. I'm suspicious…' Well, are you suspicious of the polio vaccine? 'Cause I think everybody gets that. I don't think you leave the hospital without getting certain vaccines."
Alex added: "I'm just amazed how people aren't aware of this. There's measles, mumps, polio… There's vaccines that we've been getting for years, and that's why we're not getting measles or mumps, or why we're not being forced to not be able to walk because of polio — because we get these vaccines. And the same medical and scientific communities that are behind those vaccines are behind these vaccines.
"My patience is running thin for these types," Skolnick concluded.
Over 100 million Americans — more than 30% — have received at least one dose of the three vaccines, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
A recent NPR/Marist poll found that one in four Americans said they would refuse a coronavirus vaccine if offered. Another 5% are "undecided" about whether they would get the shot. 49% of Republican men said they would not take the vaccine when it's available to them.
Although the COVID-19 vaccine was produced quickly because of the urgency of the health crisis and the number of clinical trial volunteers, scientists say the vaccine was not rushed, and it relies on years of research.
The nation's top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, has estimated that about 70-85% of Americans would need to be vaccinated to reach herd immunity.
America's two main vaccines have shown 95% efficacy against the coronavirus.
Johnson & Johnson's vaccine, which became available in the United States last month after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave it emergency use authorization, was tested with new variants of COVID-19, and has shown to be effective against them; Pfizer and Moderna were tested prior to the emergence of these variants.
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