A vaccine passport system could be a hard sell in the US, where the pandemic has exposed drastic political divides over coronavirus mitigation strategies
With Covid-19 vaccinations becoming widely accessible across the US, it is only a matter of time before companies fully throw themselves into getting back to “business as usual”. This raises questions about how customers visiting stores, theaters, arenas, and the like can prove inoculation.
On Saturday, reports said that President Joe Biden’s administration is working with the private sector on creating an unofficially dubbed “vaccine passport” program that would allow people to readily prove their vaccination or negative status via an app on their phones. After over a year since the WHO declared the coronavirus pandemic, and while average daily cases in the U.S. are still hovering at nearly 60,000 high per day, there are signs that some people are ready to travel again, despite pleadings from the CDCP to stay put.
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What are Covid-19 vaccine passports?
Vaccine passports are not a new idea. Vaccine cards have long been the go-to for frequent international travelers. The cards, also known as “international certificates of vaccination or prophylaxis,” are typically a yellow paper showing a person’s vaccinations. Some places require proof of vaccination against illnesses like yellow fever or tuberculosis. In January, President Joe Biden directed agencies to assess the feasibility of linking COVID-19 vaccinations to vaccine cards and digitizing them.
A senior adviser to the White House coronavirus team, Andy Slavitt said on Monday, according to US News, that the government ought not to create such a passport or hold that kind of data on its citizens, but the Biden administration has decided to will provide guidance to the private sector on the topic. Slavitt, the Acting Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, described the ideal COVID-19 passport as “free, equitable, secure, accessible in multiple languages and available both digitally and on paper,” but experts wonder whether a coronavirus vaccine passport needs to be different from the already existing vaccine card system.
Henry Raymond, an epidemiologist and associate professor at the Rutgers School of Public Health, says: “I honestly don’t think there’s a need for it to be a separate thing”, adding that the vaccine is not a free pass to ditch the mask. Scientists are still trying to understand whether vaccinated people can become infected asymptomatically and transmit the virus to others. The scope of such a vaccination system; whether it will be used. Brinkwire Brief News.