Vaccine apartheid is the wrong term

RASHMEE ROSHAN LALL January 12, 2022

A US Centers for Disease Control computer rendering of Covid-19

Vaccine sceptics sometimes label government policies that bar the unvaccinated from restaurants and public buildings as vaccine apartheid.

What are they referring to?

Vaccine and mask mandates at Broadway shows in New York?

Covid passports, as imposed by Greece and France as early as July?

Italy’s requirement since October for proof of vaccination, recovery or a negative Covid test to gain access to many indoor public places? Or the super-green pass it added in December for those who have been vaccinated or recovered from Covid in the last six months?

Other prohibitions in other countries are in the works. These are exclusionary, for sure.

But vaccine apartheid is the wrong term; there was no choice for those who faced the South African virus of racism, the original variant form of legal racist oppression. Those who refuse to be immunised or partially protected for a time against the coronavirus have a choice. South Africa’s mid-20th century policy of racially separating people allowed the victims no choice at all.