Vaccine Passport: What Is It & Why Is It Needed For International Travel Now

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Vaccine Passport Latest News: Apart from work, many things are witnessing change as part of ‘new normal’ in this pandemic time. One such change is Vaccine Passport for international travel. Now to travel to other countries, you need a vaccine passport. It is a certification system that gives access to certain events and facilities to those who had received vaccinations against coronavirus. This digital facility was first introduced in Israel last month, with it becoming the first country to do so. According to Israel’s concept of “vaccine passport”, it will allow vaccinated citizens access to public facilities like hotels, gyms and restaurants within the country.

What is Vaccine Passport? Vaccine passport is similar to yellow card. It is essentially proof of vaccination against yellow fever that travelers from many African countries to the US or India are required to submit before they travel. In simple words, Vaccine passports are digital documents that are supposed to prove that individuals have been vaccinated against Covid-19 in the country. This will also help digitise vaccination records across countries as well. This year, vaccine passport is going to become the most important travel document. With international flights and tourism slowly resuming, countries across the world want to be sure about who they let in. For that purpose, a home country-authorised vaccination and travel permission becomes a necessity.

Which countries have introduced vaccine passport?

Iceland: The Nordic state has become the first country in the world to issue vaccination certificates. According to updates, all citizens who have received two doses of vaccine are now eligible for a digital certificate.

Denmark: The Ministry of Health and the Elderly in Denmak has said that they are working on a ‘vaccine passport’ for Danish travellers who are travelling to the countries where vaccination becomes mandatory for entry.

Israel: Israel last month has unveiled a Green Passport that allows people who are already-vaccinated to travel and be part of large gatherings. The passport is both digital and physical as well.

Hungary: Apart from other countries, this Eastern European country is working towards ‘immunity passports’, proving that traveller has never contracted virus, or has antibodies in their body.

What are the benefits of having Vaccine Passport?

1) The foremost benefit will be derived by those associated to tourism and hospitality industries. This includes international air travel, which suffered massively because of the outbreak.

2) Another key benefit of vaccine passport is that it will digitise vaccination records across countries. While some countries have started accepting proofs of vaccination to bypass quarantine norms, a common and universally accepted version of vaccine passport is yet to emerge.

3) The vaccine passport will benefit the tourism and the hospitality industries, which are both seen as being at the heart of Covid-19 spread and are the worst hit by the pandemic.

What are the other similar digital documents in place?

A number of non-profit and technology companies are already working towards creating a secure and verifiable digital passport. Some of them include:

CommonPass: The World Economic Forum and a broad coalition of public and private partners have collaborated to launch CommonPass. It is a global platform for people to document their Covid-19 status to satisfy country entry requirements, while protecting their health data privacy.

IATA Travel Pass: In the post-pandemic time, the World Health Organisation is trying to develop digital standards for more secure vaccine pass that will be tamper-proof and can accommodate new global standards.

AOKPass: According to updates, the ICC AOKpass provides a digitally authenticated, secure and portable copy of medical records. It is designed to be decentralised, which means that medical records are stored only on your device and will not be shared or stored elsewhere.