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Current Affairs

Vaccine passport

Date: 11 March 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

Israel has become the first country in the world to introduce a form of certification system that allows individuals vaccinated against Covid-19 to get access to selected facilities and events.

 

Background

The certification is dubbed as ‘vaccine passport’ and is meant for public facilities such as restaurants, gyms, and hotels in the country.

 

Details

  • The idea of vaccine passport is similar to the vaccine certificate that several countries required even before the pandemic

  • People travelling from India as well as several African countries to the US were required to submit proof that they have been vaccinated against disease like Yellow fever.

  • The vaccine passports have been modelled as digital documents. They will function as proof that the holder has been vaccinated against Covid-19 and is deemed to be safe.

  • Another function that vaccine passport is supposed to perform is that of digitising vaccine records across countries.

 

Existing vaccine passports

  • Several associations and groups have issued their own versions of vaccine passports for international travel.

  • An app known as IATA Travel Pass is being developed to provide airlines and other similar industry members with a single platform to check for the proof of vaccination and its validity.

 

Beneficiaries

  • The benefitting sections include tourism and the hospitality industries, which have been reeling under infection spread and strict quarantine norms imposed by governments.

  • Major impediment in implementation will be the lack of uniformity across jurisdictions in requirement and issuance of proofs of vaccination.

 

Concerns

  • WHO has said that using vaccine passports as a free pass should be curtailed because there are still questions regarding efficacy of vaccination.

  • Vaccination for travellers could result in shortages for priority populations such as healthcare workers, aged population etc.

  • Since these are digital records and can be accessed by multiple controllers, there are high chances of data leakages and information theft.

Vaccine passport

Date: 05 February 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

In an effort to reduce curbs on travel and public life, Denmark is in the process of rolling out a digital passport that would show if holders have been vaccinated against the coronavirus.

 

Details

  • The first step will be completed by the end of February, when Danish citizens who have been vaccinated will be able to see a record on a government health website. After another three or four months, the digital passport and an app will be launched. 

  • Denmark, along with countries in northern Europe, has in recent years pushed for paperless communications in both the public and private sectors.

  • The corona passport is considered a part of its effort to reduce bureaucracy by using electronic verification.

  • The government will take a decision at a later date whether the digital passport would be used for purposes other than travel, such as access to restaurants, music festivals, and sports events.

 

Opening up travel in Europe

  • Europe’s tourism sector was severely impacted because of the pandemic. So, the EU has been under pressure this year to evolve mechanisms to safely restart travel.

  • The EU has been considering the use of vaccination certificates, but has so far such certificates would only be used for medical reasons.

  • The World Health Organisation had also said it was working on an e-vaccination certificate. Estonia would permit those travelling to the country to skip quarantine requirements if they are able to show proof of Covid-19 vaccination.