With more than 335 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines administered worldwide, various countries have proposed or already introduced a system of vaccine passports that would work as official proof that the holder has already been inoculated.
What is a vaccine passport?
It is documentation that shows a traveler has been vaccinated against COVID-19, already recovered or recently tested negative for the virus that causes it. It can also be in the form of a digital app on the phone that the user can show to airline employees and border officers.
Is covid-19 the first disease to have a vaccine passport?
The concept of a vaccine passport isn’t new though. Such proofs are already used to document vaccinations against diseases such as cholera, yellow fever, typhus and rubella.The certificate helped prevent the spread of smallpox in the 1960s and 1970s amid the rapid expansion of air travel.
International Air Transport Association, is testing a version it calls Travel Pass. Israel in February has already introduced Green pass, which can be obtained through a phone app or health ministry website. Some countries in the European Union have also issued their own certificate systems. Meanwhile in Asia, so far only China has begun issuing digital vaccination certificates for its citizens planning to travel abroad.
What are the Pros of vaccine passports?
International travel will become more viable as vaccinated person is less likely to suffer from covid-19
They could serve as powerful motivation to get vaccinated as some countries still show vaccine hesitancy
People who lost work opportunities during pandemic can have access to jobs
Cons of vaccine passports
Since there are unequal vaccine supplies around the world, some people will be free to travel before others. Minorities and low income countries will be hence marginalized.
Due to emergence of other variants of coronavirus, current vaccine may or may not be effective.
It could encourage people who have not had the vaccine to get a fake vaccination certificate.
It also has the potential to discriminate against the young, pregnant or those who can’t have the jab for medical reasons.
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Meanwhile WHO is also concerned that the vaccine passports would create inequalities.
What do you think? Do you support covid-19 vaccine passports or not?