• Tuesday, Jan 25, 2022
  • Last Update : 03:02 am

Vaccine passports: path back to normality or problem in the making?

  • Published at 06:19 pm February 4th, 2021
China Covid-19 Travel ban
File photo: People wearing protective face masks carry their luggage at Capital Airport, following an outbreak of the Covid-19, in Beijing, China on November 5, 2020 Reuters

The travel and entertainment industries are particularly interested in such tools to check who has protection

Governments and developers around the world are exploring the potential use of "vaccine passports" as a way of reopening the economy by identifying those protected against the coronavirus.

Those developing the technologies, however, say such tools come with consequences such as potentially excluding whole groups from social participation, and are urging lawmakers to think seriously about how they are used.

The travel and entertainment industries, which have struggled to operate at a profit while imposing social distancing regulations, are particularly interested in a way of swiftly checking who has protection.

Among those developing passports are biometrics company iProov and cyber security firm Mvine which have built a vaccine pass now being tested within Britain's National Health Service after receiving UK government funding.

iProov founder and chief executive Andrew Bud believes such vaccine passports only really need to hold two pieces of information.

"One is, has this person been vaccinated? And the other is, what does this person look like?"

You need only match a face to a vaccination status, you don't need to know a person's identity, he added.

Confirmation of patrons' vaccination status could help the night-time economy, which employs some 420,000 people in the northern English city of Manchester, off its knees, experts say.

"We have to look at how to get back to normal," said Sacha Lord, an industry adviser and co-founder of the city's Parklife music festival.

While there have been experiments in socially distanced concerts and events over the last year, they weren't financially viable, he said.

"A gig isn't a gig, or a festival isn't a festival unless you are stood shoulder to shoulder with your friends.

"I don't think we should be forcing people into the vaccine passports. It should be a choice. But on entry, if you don't have that passport, then we will give you another option," he added, suggesting the use of rapid result coronavirus tests.

Bud said vaccine certificates were being rolled out in some countries, and in the United States, some private sector health passes were being used to admit customers to sports events.

"I think vaccine certificates raise huge social and political issues. Our job is to provide the technology basis for making vaccine passports and certificates possible ... It is not our place to make judgments about whether they are a good idea or not," he said.

Potential issues could arise around discrimination, privilege and exclusion of the younger generation who would be last in line to be vaccinated, he said, adding he believed government was giving it careful consideration.

50
Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail