Sunday 22 August 2021

Questions over Canada's plan for COVID-19 vaccine passports

Global News shows that Canadians are questioning how the federal government plans to create a vaccine passport system to help people travel overseas. 

Who can get it? How will it work? Will provinces decide to use the passport for other things, like Quebec is planning to do? Jamie Mauracher breaks down what we know so far.

A so-called "immunity passport" or "vaccine passport", also known as a vaccination ID recovery certificate, immunity certificate, recovery certificate or release certificate, is a document, in both paper and digital format, attesting that its bearer is immune to a contagious disease. Similar to quarantine, public certification is an action that governments can take to mitigate an epidemic.

Keep in mind, an immunity passport is not the same as a vaccination record or vaccination certificate proving someone has received certain vaccines verified by the medical records of the clinic where the vaccines were given. The Carte Jaune ("yellow card") is an official vaccination record issued by the World Health Organization (WHO). It has been argued that the primary difference is that vaccination certificates such as the Carte Jaune incentivise individuals to obtain vaccination against a disease, while immunity passports incentivise individuals to get infected with and recover from a disease.

The certain concept of immunity passports has drawn much attention during the COVID-19 pandemic as a potential way to contain the pandemic and permit faster economic recovery. This could include a so-called "health passport" for people who have either been vaccinated. A reliable serological testing for antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 virus is done to certify people as immune to COVID-19 and issue an immunity documentation. Despite the benefits of vaccination and to solve economic and social problems due to the pandemic, issuing COVID-19 immunity certificates point out issues in science, ethics, and laws. Certificates may also result in a lower inclination to accept COVID-19 vaccines and may thus have a certain counterproductive effect on immunisation rates.

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