What is a ‘vaccine passport’ and will you need one the next time you travel?

-A “vaccine passport” or “e-vaccination certification of compliance for border crossing regulations” could be required to enable seamless border-crossing.

-Any framework that comes into place will need to be harmonized, when it comes to standards and use cases, by a normative body – such as the WHO – to ensure that its use is ethical and fair.

-Two sessions at The Davos Agenda address «Vaccinating the World» on 26 January and 29 January.

 
For some countries, access to vaccines are increasingly a reality, and millions of vaccines have been purchased with the hope that in time the world’s populations could become COVID-19 immune.

The expectation is that with a vaccine, some aspects of life will return to normal – especially when it comes to travel – which has been particularly hard-hit. This is where a “vaccine passport” or “e-vaccination certification of compliance for border crossing regulations” to enable seamless border-crossing and the harmonization of varying national laws might become a required travel document.

There are important questions to be asked, however, around whether vaccinations prevent transmission, the difference between evidence of inoculation and evidence of immunity, and the rights of those people who may be unable to have the vaccine for health or other reasons.

With this in mind, the World Health Organization (WHO) is looking closely into the use of technology in the COVID-19 response, and how it can work with member states toward an e-vaccination certificate. Importantly, the framework will need to be harmonized, when it comes to standards and the use cases for the certificate, by a normative body like the WHO to ensure that it upholds ethical and equitable principles.

There are also separate initiatives among the private sector, such as the Vaccine Credentials Initiative, which are feeding into this work by offering authentication tools and solutions.

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