World Health Organization Warns Against Governments Introducing Covid-19 Vaccine Passports
Governments and companies around the world have been touting vaccine passports as a way out of the coronavirus pandemic.
It comes in many forms and types and essentially allows authorities to confirm whether you've been vaccinated against Covid-19.
They have been suggested for pubs, restaurants, concerts, music festivals, cinemas, flights and loads more.
But the World Health Organization reckons they could be a bad idea.
Dr Mike Ryan, who leads WHO's public health emergencies program, believes vaccination history should definitely be stored, but raised concerns about using the data to bar people from entry.
"This is a complex issue ... There are ethical issues regarding equity, we already have a huge issue with vaccine equity in the world," Dr Ryan said during a virtual news conference.
"The imposition of requirements for certification of vaccination before travel could introduce another layer or such inequity.
"If you don't have access to a vaccine in the country then you will effectively become isolated as a country as vaccine passports kick in. So there are many, many, many issues."
Israel became the first country to introduce them and Qantas has already been trialling them on incoming flights to keep track of people.
Australia wants to have the passports ready for when international arrivals come into our country, but the Prime Minister said they wouldn't be necessary when people travel to New Zealand and back.
The WHO has temporarily recommended vaccine passports for international travel as some corridors get opened up, however they will meet again on April 15 to consider making that suggestion permanent.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Dr Ryan said officials will look at the 'ethical, social and scientific data' to come up with a decision.
Some US states like Florida and Texas have already banned vaccine passports from being mandated.
America's top infectious diseases expert Dr Anthony Fauci doesn't expect the US government to be bringing it in on a federal level.
"I'm not saying that they should or that they would, but I'm saying you could foresee how an independent entity might say, 'Well, we can't be dealing with you unless we know you're vaccinated.' But it's not going to be mandated from the federal government," Dr Fauci said.
But across the Atlantic, the European Union has outlined a scheme that will allow travel between EU countries.
Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission (EC) president, said that the 'Digital Green Pass' would aim to get the travel and tourism industry restarted around the EU this summer, as long as you've been vaccinated.
She explained: "The Digital Green Pass should facilitate Europeans' lives.
"The aim is to gradually enable them to move safely in the EU or abroad for work or tourism."
Featured Image Credit: PA