What Are Covid 19 Vaccine Passports?

In the wake of the ongoing Covid 19 pandemic, companies and governments around the world have shown interests in introducing special vaccinations passports or certificates that can be used for international travel. Vaccine passports are digital health certificates that will allow individuals to prove that they have been vaccinated against Covid 19.

In the last few months, the introduction of Covid 19 vaccine passports has become a hot topic of discussion, with many countries and businesses seeking to gain the access that armed with passports for past vaccinations would give them. It remains unclear which form of document will be widely accepted, but if implemented appropriately, it could help pave the way for reopenings of travel and tourism in many countries, while also helping in the safe resumption of other activities.

Purpose of Covid 19 Vaccine Passports

Covid 19 vaccine passports are digital documents that function as proof that a person has been vaccinated against the virus. Those who are looking to travel will likely be asked to present proof that they have been vaccinated, which could come in the form of these digital documents. Additionally, these documents could also be used to verify the eligibility of individuals for attending concerts, visiting restaurants, and engaging in other activities.

With vaccine passports, governments can ensure that individuals coming into the country are not infected with the virus and have received a proper vaccination. In doing so, it would create a greater level of security and reduce the risk of Covid 19 transmission between countries. It would also allow governments to ease their restrictions on movements by providing a much-needed assurance that the entry of all individuals have been verified.

PROS of Covid 19 Vaccine Passports

  1. Reduction of infection risk: Vaccine passports could help reduce the risk of infection from those travelling from one country to another. It ensures that everyone entering a country is vaccinated and will not pose a risk of spreading the virus.

  2. Facilitating international travel: With a Covid 19 vaccine passport, travellers can avoid quarantine and testing requirements when visiting a foreign country, making international travel much simpler and more efficient.

  3. Speed up countries’ recovery process: With this measure in place, countries can more easily restart their respective economies and travel industry by ensuring that all individuals travelling to the country are vaccinated and do not pose a risk of transmitting the virus.

  4. Protection of vulnerable people: By allowing only a small number of individuals who are vaccinated to attend certain activities and venues such as concerts and cinemas, vaccine passports can help protect vulnerable people such as the elderly and children from getting infected.

CONS of Covid 19 Vaccine Passports

  1. Data privacy concerns: With the introduction of vaccine passports, it is unknown who will have access to the personal data captured with the passport and whether it can be exploited for malicious purposes.

  2. Exclusion of the unvaccinated: Many individuals are excluded from traveling to certain countries if their Covid 19 vaccine passport is not accepted or not available. This could create a class system between those who have access to vaccines and those who do not, creating unnecessary inequality and discrimination.

  3. Unknown virus mutations: It is unclear if the Covid 19 vaccine passport would be effective in responding to virus mutations, as these mutations tend to require different vaccines or treatments.

Comparing International Vaccine Passport Requirements

Currently, there are several countries that are issuing Covid 19 vaccine passports. Each country’s requirements and rules can vary, with some countries allowing entry without the need of a vaccine passport, while others strictly require it. Here’s how a few countries are approaching their vaccine passport requirements:

• United States: The United States is yet to decide on introducing a vaccine passport for visitors. However, certain states, such as New York, have already begun issuing vaccine passports with the Excelsior Pass app.

• Canada: Canada has no plans of introducing a vaccine passport for visitors at the moment. However, its citizens traveling outside the country are likely to be requested to present proof of vaccination.

• United Kingdom: The UK has now started issuing vaccine passports, called the International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis (ICVP). The ICVP will show if a traveller has been vaccinated against Covid 19, but it is not expected to become a requirement for travelers into the UK.

• Japan: Japan has yet to make a decision on introducing vaccine passports for incoming travelers from abroad.

Covid 19 vaccine passports are becoming increasingly popular as countries continue to look for ways to restart their respective economies. It could be a viable option for easing travel restrictions imposed due to the pandemic, as it would allow countries to verify the eligibility of individuals for attending certain activities. However, there are plenty of concerns surrounding the introduction of vaccine passports, with data privacy being a major concern. There is also the possibility of excluding the unvaccinated, which is something governments should work to avoid. It remains to be seen how many countries will adopt vaccine passports and how the rules may vary.