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What are vaccine passports and is it a good strategy to stop the spread of the virus?

Every day millions of people are being vaccinated against the pandemic and some of the business and political leaders are recommending that life can become back to normal if we start a system called vaccine passports. A system that will tell whether a person has been vaccinated or not. Private organizations, international associations and governments across the world are working on some of the new projects on the same lines. Many private companies have also introduced a new rule that states- “if a person has travelled via a plane or a cruise or has visited or attended events like concerts, he must be vaccinated”. But scientific questions are being raised on the idea of vaccine passports.
What is the motive behind the concept of vaccine passports?
The idea of the passports which shows that you have been vaccinated would be an updated version of the yellow card also called the International Certificate of Prophylaxis or Vaccination. The yellow card is a booklet that is approved by the WHO (World Health Organization) and includes the vaccination and inoculation history of the passport holder.
even if the rules and the regulations related to the coronavirus pandemic vary from one place to another, almost every country seeks proof from the traveller that he/she is not affected from the virus. Yet there are no systematic requirements that a person has to be vaccinated. Given Covid-19’s widespread proliferation, contagiousness, and destruction, many people are asking for a more modern, interactive, safe and easy system to keep the records. It will ideally include evidence of vaccination status as well as documentation of recent virus test results, which would reassure border agents while still protecting fellow travellers or event attendees. According to the spokeswomen of World Health Organization, Margaret Harris, the market for such evidence has resulted in fake and falsified printed editions.
Who is requiring that passengers present proof of inoculation?
Many companies have made it compulsory for the employees in their company to have recorded proof of vaccination and in some time, this would transform into a common practice. “The people who want to travel internationally, coming or leaving the Australia have to show the evidence of vaccination stating that they have been vaccinated, before boarding,” said Alan Joyce, the chief executive officer of Australian airline Qantas Airways Limited. Saga cruises in United Kingdom, which faced the consequences of the pandemic, has said that all the people who wants to sail have to provide documents proving that they aren’t affected from covid and they have been vaccinated.
Do the governments want proof for entering the domestic boundaries of the country?
It’s a possibility, particularly when more people are vaccinated. However, the World Health Organization has refused to endorse this strategy earlier only. However, the department advises against enforcing travel limits in the event of a pandemic, and the countries have disagreed to the advises given, by imposing the bans on the flights due to the pandemic. Only one vaccine, against yellow fever, is endorsed as a condition for entering into the countries under the Internationally Health Regulations, which are legally binding on the 196 states that are parties to it. The WHO advised against adding Covid vaccines in early February for two reasons. Firstly, it’s unclear if those requirements will prohibit the virus from spreading across borders and it’s also unclear that how well the vaccines prevent people from transferring the virus even though they aren’t ill. Secondly, there is a scarcity of Covid vaccines. Last year, the Health Department advised that there is no use of introducing Immunity passports as it wasn’t proved yet that the person who has affected from the virus, cannot be affected again.
What are the effects of a scarcity of vaccines?
As a result, entrance requirements will prevent the majority of people around the world from receiving Covid vaccines. Under the International Health Regulations, countries are allowed to take public health steps that go beyond World Health Oraganization recommendations, only if they are not bias. Some people fear that vaccination passports will produce a globally vaccinated community, intensifying inequalities and building an underclass that could be refused to care for others who are unable to cross borders. It is well known that inequalities have gotten worse throughout the global pandemic and this one more inequality would just deprecate things further. People of black racial colour in industrialised countries and those in emerging countries who serve without formal employment or contracts have been found to be particularly affected by the virus. Vaccine passports could be at risk exacerbating prejudice based on the colour of the people, ethnicity, or mobile access, since many of the proposed applications require one and they could raise privacy issues, according to some experts. Some experts believe that continuous, unrestricted vaccination access may alleviate some of these issues. Vaccine access, however, continues to be uneven.
How could border officers use vaccination permits?
Vaccine passports or certificates could be used to relax existing regulations that exclude such visitors, force incoming passengers to test negative for the virus, and place them in quarantine immediately upon arrival. In mid-January, infectious-disease doctors from a dozen countries recommended that people who have undergone a full course of Covid vaccine be able to migrate openly for a set amount of time — most likely six months — before more is learned about the inoculations’ length of protection.

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