Just a year ago the world was waiting for scientists to create a vaccine to end the troubles it was facing due to Covid-19. And now, the the European Union (EU) is looking to develop and launch COVID-19 vaccine passports.
The EU will launch these passports in partnership with the the airline sector and the governments of some Asian countries. The partnership aims to ease travel and give a much needed boost to the global tourism industry.
Travelers would now be able use cellphone apps to prove they have been vaccinated. This could help them avoid onerous quarantine requirements at their destinations.
The user’s official or authorized e-immunization record would be contained in the Covid-19 vaccine passports.
Britain’s National Health Service app allows fully vaccinated users to prove their status when traveling overseas. But,the EU, China, and Japan are working on their own digital vaccination certificates for cross-border travel.
Any official vaccination certificates will be stored in smartphone apps, like the mobile wallets that would be launched by the EU by June, 2021.
However, the multiple efforts highlight the lack of one central global system to electronically verify vaccination status.
While questions related to privacy and vaccine inequality linger, the projects are also facing technical issues in collaborating.
Concerns have also been raised about the misuse of data to “control people, restrict freedom and erode privacy.”