IN his first week in office, vaccine roll-out minister Nadhim Zahawi has jumped into the deep end by suggesting that an “immunity passport” could allow people who have had the vaccination to attend sports grounds or festivals or visit pubs or go on a plane.

Michael Gove baled him out yesterday by saying that there are no plans for such a scheme – but you can see it is only a small step away.

Afterall, most of us now have one of the NHS apps on our phones.

It would be dependant on the vaccine being shown to stop recipients from being contagious – it could just be that the vaccine prevents people from developing symptoms but they could still pass it on to others.

There are huge ethical issues here – would those people unable to have the vaccine for medical reasons have to explain their conditions on a pub threshold? – and one wonders where it would lead. Will insurance companies want proof of vaccination before you take out a policy? Will businesses demand employees are all vaccinated so they can return to the office?

But if a vaccination passport allows people to break out of lockdown and go on holiday overseas holidays, businesses will quickly want to adopt it – Qantas, the Australian airline, has already said that its passengers will, in future, have to have been vaccinated to fly.

This is something we need to have thought about before the vaccine is out of the fridge.