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Government Could Bring In 'Vaccine Passports' Allowing Greater Freedoms After Jabs

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Government Could Bring In 'Vaccine Passports' Allowing Greater Freedoms After Jabs

British people who have had the coronavirus vaccine could be offered 'vaccine passports' meaning those who have received the jabs could have greater freedoms, so long as they can prove it.

Despite having said that there were 'no plans' to take up the scheme, which would involve an app that records and proves whether a person has had one dose, two doses, or no doses of one of the vaccines, government agency Innovate UK has ploughed £75,000 into the project already.

The passports will be trialled this month and have been created by biometrics company iProov and cybersecurity firm Mvine.

The plan is to issue the app for free to anyone who has had a jab so that they can prove their vaccination status.

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The Department of Health had previously said that vaccine passports weren't in their thinking, but the government's own Innovate UK agency has already invested £75,000 in the project, which you'd hope isn't money that is completely wasted.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Frank Joshi, a director of Mvine, said that they had initially started working on an app that could demonstrate test results, but then received more funding to work on this vaccine passport app.

There will be a government-funded trial that will be overseen by two local authority directors of public health.

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That is expected to last right through this third lockdown until March, even though the locations have yet to be decided upon, according to The Telegraph.

The overall aim is to show that these passports can be used by the NHS to keep track of everyone who has had the first or second vaccine injection.

iProov's boss Andrew Bud said: "We're talking about a piece of remarkable technology that can be brought to bear and can be readily integrated with the NHS."

Both of the companies involved believe that, if the trial is successful, the project can be scaled up to millions of people in the UK.

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A Department of Health spokesperson told MailOnline: "As large numbers of people from at risk groups are vaccinated, we will be able to gather the evidence to prove the impact on infection rates, hospitalisation and reduced deaths.

"If successful, this should in time lead to a reassessment of current restrictions."

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

However, the government cannot reach a consensus on whether the project is workable, with Michael Gove saying that vaccine passports were 'not the plan' before the government's appointed vaccine tsar Nadhim Zahawi stating that they are 'looking at the technology'.

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Zahawi later said that there were 'absolutely no plans for vaccine passporting' and added 'mandating vaccinations is discriminatory and completely wrong'.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock later told Spectator: "It's not an area that we're looking at."

The policy has been criticised as it could discriminate against people who cannot have the vaccine, such as pregnant women.

Others have raised concerns about those who could effectively be held out of society because they haven't had the vaccine.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: UK News, Interesting, Technology

Tom Wood
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