Categories: CoronavirusWorld

COVID-19 passports: What are they, and why you may need one soon

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COVID-19 passports may help ‘reopen the economy,’ according to reports.

The talks about COVID-19 passports and certifications continue to emerge these past few days. This comes after vaccinations continue to roll out in various countries across the globe.

Despite the continued fight against the deadly virus though, the surge in new cases persists in different parts of the globe. This even led some countries to impose another round of lockdown.

While the pandemic is far from over, countries have now begun to publicize the concept of “vaccine passports” among their citizens. Healthline reported that these certifications, which serve as proof of vaccination, may allow the public to travel once again.

About COVID-19 passports

Speaking to the publication, Dr. Henry Wu of the Emory TravelWell Center asserted that COVID-19 passports are “clearly the direction travel is going” in the next few months. This may likely “play an important role in international travel moving forward.”

COVID-19 passports are already existing in China. The publication said that the country unveiled its “digital vaccine passport” last month.

The public accesses these passports using a dedicated smartphone application. It allows people to verify the status of a person’s vaccination by scanning a QR code.

Following the country’s movements, Japan has also announced its own digital passport recently. Reports said that it might likely debut in the next few weeks.

A similar proposal in the United Kingdom has also been reported earlier this week. While the U.S. has yet to announce its own plans of having COVID-19 passports, many companies are already reportedly developing their respective “digital vaccine certificates” for smartphones.

Fears and concerns of the public

Travel medicine experts, including Wu, noted, however, that there are also increasing concerns and fears regarding COVID-19 passports. While the entire concept is not new, the coronavirus itself reportedly “complicates” it.

Aside from taking the now-existing fake vaccination cards into account, privacy is another factor. This is in consideration of making the documents digital. Consequently, this then causes concerns for people who do not own smartphones.

In the end, though, experts believe that COVID-19 passports are going to be a “reality” in the future. However, the “roll out,” as well as the process of making it one, is still in a “mess” as of late.

World Health Organization does not support

Amid all the talks about the vaccine passports, People reported that the World Health Organization “does not support mandating vaccines” as a requirement for international travel. One of the many reasons stated is “vaccine access.”

All in all, though, COVID-19 passports may, indeed, open the door for travel. But, the Centers for Disease Control’s guideline reportedly remains the same. This is to “avoid non-essential” travels.

Images courtesy of (1)Jernej Furman/Flickr & (2)Cindy Shebley/Flickr

Mike Pantoja-Contreras

Published by
Mike Pantoja-Contreras

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