What is a vaccine passport?

A World Health Organisation official has recently stated that, vaccine passports for COVID-19 should not be used for international travel because of several concerns like ethical considerations that the coronavirus vaccines are not easily available across the world.

Background

Israel was the first country that introduced a certification system in February 2021. This certification system allows to access certain facilities & events to those who have been vaccinated against Covid-19. This is being termed as “Vaccine Passport”. This passport provides for public facilities like gyms, restaurants and hotels in country. However, the passport also has its bearing on full resumption of the international air travel.

About vaccine passports

The vaccine passport is designed as a “proof of vaccination” that some of the countries has mandated even before Covid-19 pandemic. The travellers coming from several African countries to United States or India are required to provide this certificate as a proof that they are vaccinated against diseases like yellow fever. The vaccine passports are the digital documents and they also function as a proof of vaccination against Covid-19. The vaccine passport will also act as a “digital vaccination record” across the countries. Many countries have started accepting the proof of vaccination in order to bypass quarantine norms however, universally accepted version of vaccine passport is not yet emerged.

Other Proof of vaccination

Several associations and nonprofits are also issuing their own version of proof of vaccination for international travel similar to ones issued by the Israeli government. For instance, the International Air Transport Association which is a global trade body that represents the airlines, is to develop an app called “IATA Travel Pass”. This app will provide a common platform to check for vaccination proof for the airlines and other aviation industry stakeholders. The Non-profit Commons Project is testing an app called CommonPass, which comprises of the vaccination record of passengers.

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