“You Shall Not Pass” without a Jab: An Institutional Theory Perspective to COVID-19 Vaccine Passport Policies

Emmanuel Arakpogun*, Padmali Rodrigo, Femi Olan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
23 Downloads (Pure)


The recent health crises (e.g., COVID-19, Ebola and Monkeypox) have pointed out huge disparities in vaccine accessibility across the world. Nonetheless, certain governments have instituted vaccine passport policies (VPPs) to manage public health, raising mixed concerns from the public. Focusing on COVID-19 outbreak as an example, this review and commentary article utilises an institutional theory perspective to uncover the factors contributing to the global vaccine divide. We also explore the wider impact of VPPs to determine whether such tools promote freedom or social exclusion. Our insights shed light on a controversial and increasingly divisive policy with an international dimension and institutional implications. For instance, while some argue that VPPs may be relatively better than the blunt instrument of lockdowns, VPPs also implicate access and discrimination concerns. Given the various reasons for global vaccine disparities, a hybrid policy that combines vaccine passports with other public health practices (e.g., rapid lateral flow/affordable polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests and good hygiene) may be more viable. Furthermore, while VPPs may not be desirable and acceptable domestically, they may be inevitable for international travel.
Original languageEnglish
Article number14105
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 28 Oct 2022


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