Covid-19 vaccine passports are the new talk of the town and there are high chances that they will be launched soon. But these vaccine passports have to face a number of challenges that need a solution before launching them. The new report conducted by two professors from Oxford University Melinda Mills and Chris Dye highlight these challenges which need to be addressed before introducing the covid-19 vaccine passports.
This report is published under the Royal Society’s Science in Emergencies Tasking: COVID-19 (SET-C) group.
The primary concern in these passports is the information about the passport holder, verifying him free of disease and unable to transmit it to others. These passports will only be internationally accepted if there is a way to determine the security of the passport holder and everyone around him.
According to the report authors, understanding the idea of vaccine passport itself needs clarification especially where would it be used. Can it be used for international travel or just for domestic travel only? Its travel acceptance has to be determined first.
The intention of using this passport will determine its value on national and international levels. Many health experts agree that the introduction of this vaccine passport will help the world to return to normal, in terms of public spaces, traveling, or spreading infection and the best thing is that it is possible.
Once the vaccine-linked immunity is here, vaccine passports are clearly explained, the only thing left behind is the legal implications and ethical concerns which also need to be focused on.
Following the World Health Organization is probably not enough and it requires a huge discussion about different uses and aspects of the new vaccine passports, including the privacy of this data, technical issues, or laws on how these vaccines should ideally be used.
There is already huge progress in some of these aspects but their full work is left undone, despite knowing its importance. For a start, gathering information on all vaccines and their probable benefits is going on. But it is not the ideal situation to launch vaccine passports right now, perhaps the world is not ready for them.
This report highlighted key challenges for the vaccine passport, implying that all of these issues should be fixed or clarified before starting to accept these passports.
Some of these challenges are as follows.
- Whether or not the standards for immunity are met
- Understanding differences between vaccines and their efficacy against some or all variants
- An international standard system that applies to all individuals and countries
- Maintaining credentials that could be verified at any stage
- Clear uses of these vaccine passports
- Personal data protection
- Specification of technology used
- Price determination and affordability for people as well as for countries
- Easy to carry and travel with
- Legal standards that are the same for all places
- Ethical concerns regarding the vaccine passports
- Acceptance from the passport holders