Vaccine Passports

vaccine needle image

Vaccine Passports - What are they?

A vaccine passport is a certificate that shows the holder has been immunized against COVID-19. Initially they are being developed to restore free travel that has been restricted by Government restrictions implemented to control the spread of COVID-19. Either a paper document or digital in the form of a phone app, they could also be used to control access to businesses and government facilities. The EU aims to make a COVID passport available to its citizens by the first of July 2021. Quote "...the Commission first brought forward the proposal for the creation of a document which would enable those vaccinated to travel restriction-free throughout Europe in mid-March this year, in a bid to restore the freedom of travel for vaccinated persons, those who have recovered from the virus, and those who test negative, amid COVID-19."

The vaccinations acceptable for the issue of a EU Vaccine Passport

  • Comirnaty (BioNTech, Pfizer)
  • Moderna
  • Vaxzevria (previously COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca, Oxford)
  • Janssen (Johnson & Johnson)

The EU passport will be "...a one-page document, issued in digital format and printable." The certificates will contain their own digital signature key, which will be part of the QR code in order to prevent their falsification.

In addition to facilitating international travel vaccine passports are proposed to allow vaccinated people to access restaurants, bars, concerts, public events and even shops.

Australia's proposed vaccine passport, called a Medicare certificate, "...could be used to roll out greater freedoms for the fully vaccinated to travel interstate or even avoid lockdowns ...While not compulsory, the certificate could still be requested in the future by pubs and clubs and other entertainment venues that plan to require proof of vaccination."

In the USA however The White House has ruled out introducing mandatory federal Covid-19 vaccination passports, saying citizens' privacy and rights should be protected. White House Press Secretary Jan Psaki stated "The government is not now, nor will be, supporting a system that requires Americans to carry a credential." However the Biden adminstration has said that it is taking a "very close look" at whether a vaccine passport should be implemented for travel to and from the US. US States are each taking their own stance on whether vaccine passports are allows or required in their territory. See here for a list of the various US State requirements

  • Covid-19: How vaccine passports for international travel will work. Lets remember that "Vaccine Passports" are not intended solely for enabling international travel but for control of access to all services used by citizens. To access shops, banks, eductional and other public facities, entertainment venues, public transportation and quite possibly your place of work.
  • Accoring to the British Medical Journal one of biggest problems facing a Vaccine Passport is quote "...it is still unclear whether vaccination prevents transmission. Vaccinated people may still be able to unknowingly spread the virus."
  • CBS story Vaccine passports: What are they and how do they work? Quote "Vaccination passports would add another digital layer to the multitude of existing coronavirus health and contact-tracing apps many countries and U.S. states have rolled out. Their use domestically to reopen local economies has been hotly debated, with many opposed to requiring them for pubs, concerts and sporting events."
  • U.S. colleges requiring students to get vaccinated before returning to campus?
  • Passport to work? Houston Methodist threatens to fire staff who do not get vaccinated.
  • Freedom in Germany for the fully vaccinated? CNN article link here. Quote "The issue of enforcing those new rules has been questioned by German authorities. Jorg Radek, deputy national chairman of the country's police union, told the German public broadcaster ARD: "I think first of all, we need a transparent regulation from which it is clear for whom these vaccinations documents should apply, and we then need a very clear possibility -- which has to be carefully tested -- that those documents are forgery-proof."
  • List of colleges and universities nationwide requiring COVID vaccine continues to grow. See the nydailynews.com article here quote "...Those who attend Cornell University, Rutgers University, Fort Lewis College, Nova Southeastern University and St. Edward's University will have to be fully vaccinated before returning to campus in the fall, with limited exemptions for underlying medical conditions and religious beliefs. And Brown University on Tuesday became the latest school to reveal its plans requiring students to receive the vaccine as part of a bid to return to relative normalcy on campus."