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To combat the pandemic, President Biden recently issued executive orders to federal officials to assess the viability of combining coronavirus vaccine certificates with other vaccination records and creating digital copies.
According to Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization, in the future, many international government and health authorities may want to know if you have been vaccinated or tested negative for Covid-19 before you can enter their countries. In fact, proof of a negative test is already required for entry into many countries. Such passes will be crucial to reviving the tourism industry.
The ultimate goal is for people who have been stuck in foreign countries to return home, families separated by the pandemic to reunite, and economies to recover. The hope is that hundreds of millions of people will receive the vaccine and return to everyday life while preventing the virus from spreading. Proof of vaccination could give travelers access to more countries and allow for admission to locations such as gyms, music centers, and restaurants which would only be available to those that have been vaccinated.
Most countries have yet to issue such passes. Israel, with its high vaccination rate, was the first to do so recently, and several European countries have expressed interest in following suit. Denmark’s government announced recently that it would initiate a digital pass in the next 3–4 months that will enable people to prove they have been vaccinated.
President Biden has directed US federal agencies to look into the possibilities. Many airlines, as well as tourism-dependent businesses and destinations, anticipate requiring them of all travelers at some point in the future.
The Dilemma of Covid Vaccination Cards
Dividing the planet into vaccinated and non-vaccinated people poses complex moral and ethical issues. Vaccines are available primarily in affluent nations and to their privileged ethnic classes. They give vaccinated citizens benefits and freedom while tightening restrictions on non-vaccinated individuals, driving a bigger wedge in harmful societal divisions.
Vaccine cynicism, which is strong in many cultures, is likely to rise if vaccines are viewed as mandatory by the government. Such mandatory vaccination plans run the risk of exacerbating Covid imperialism, which entails nations sparring for their people’s self-interest rather than the entire planet’s common good.
In Scientific American, Nicole Hassoun and Anders Herlitz, who research public health ethics, wrote, “Immunity passports offer trip protection to return to a more usual social and economic existence.” However, they add that it is an ethical issue because vaccines are distributed unequally by race, class, and nationality.
Still, there are clear benefits: grandparents reuniting with out-of-town grandchildren; sporting events, festivals, and other activities partially but comfortably returning; resumption of overseas travel and tourism; companies reopening without placing jobs in jeopardy.
Vaccine Pass or Health Cards
Vaccine passes/health cards are not a new concept; travelers in the past have had to show that they have been protected against diseases like yellow fever, rubella, and cholera for decades. Everyone who has traveled abroad to places that require vaccination against malaria, diphtheria, and other diseases has seen yellow cards, recognized as a Foreign Certificate of Vaccine or Prophylaxis. Travel insurance companies have recommended vaccines to travelers as a means of trip protection, and the CDC also suggests carrying documentation of vaccination on trips.
Like other vaccine passes, a Covid-19 vaccination pass will act as proof that you have been vaccinated against Covid-19. People will need to prove that they have screened negative for the virus in specific variants, which will enable them to fly more efficiently. Airlines, business associations, non-profits, and hardware providers are already collaborating on models accessible as an app or as part of the digital wallet.
Will the Covid Vaccination Pass or Health Cards Be Necessary?
In the foreseeable future, yes. Again, according to Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization, such passes may be crucial in reviving the tourism industry.
Government and health officials would like to know whether you have been vaccinated or screened negative for the virus before you can fly abroad. For entry into several countries, evidence of a negative test is already needed.
In an email, he said that “consistency and harmonization of rules and protocols on foreign travel is one crucial factor essential for the restart of tourism. Vaccination data, for example, by the organized launch of so-called ‘health passports,’ will include this. They will also abolish the need for quarantine upon entry, a measure that is also preventing foreign tourists from returning.”
According to global travel experts, there are three possibilities for automated coronavirus credentialing. The first is the development of immunity certificates – papers that prove you have acquired immunity. The second case involves proving that you have been negative for the infection, and the third consists of proving that you have been vaccinated. Experts believe that the last two situations are the most crucial for reviving the travel industry.
Dakota Gruener, a representative of a WHO-sponsored organization in charge of developing global automated vaccine certificate regulations, said that they’re receiving a lot of inquiries from airlines, travel industry affiliates, customs and border control authorities, and passengers on how they can travel to other countries safely. The standardization and adoption of Covid vaccination documentation can make it possible to travel once again and do so safely.