COVID-19 vaccine passports – everything you should know

COVID 19 vaccine passport

Welcome to the new reality with vaccine passports, which are to become an usual feature of everyday life as lockdowns are lifted across the world. In fact, vaccine passports are nothing new and have already been used before, for example, when traveling to regions with yellow fever. Don’t forget to read about traveling during pandemic.

What is COVID vaccine passport anyway?

It is simply a document or application that confirms that you have been enrolled in the vaccine program. As we are now dealing with a pandemic, and therefore a global phenomenon, it is not a pass to given regions, but … to normal life.

How will the EU vaccine passport work?

Key to the digital certificate is a QR code – a machine-readable graphic code made up of black and white squares – that contains personal data and the EU’s Commission says it will be safe and secure. It is working with the World Health Organization to ensure the certificate is recognised beyond Europe. (source: BBC News)

The vaccine passport will allow you not only to enter the airport or restaurant, but also to school or work. Yes, your employer can ask you to provide proof of vaccination.


So if you want to go back to the pre-lockdown days, when everything was possible, you just need to get a document like this. How much do people need them? This is evidenced by the fact that illegal vaccine passports have already appeared on the darknet.

Efectiveness of COVID-19 vaccine passports

How well they would actually work? Critics, including the World Health Organization, worry that they might exacerbate inequality and undermine privacy.

There are two reasons why vaccine passports may be not be so effective. First – in truth, the vaccinated person should not get sick, but it is not fully known whether they will not be able to transmit new variants of the SARS-COV2 virus. Secondly, the value of a vaccine passport will last a long time in countries where vaccination takes a long time, such as in Europe, while in countries where most citizens are quickly vaccinated, their value will be negligible.

You need proof of vaccination to access many aspects of normal life, but hopefully the vaccine passports will only be a temporary solution. The question of freedom of choice is also often raised – if you are not vaccinanted you can’t leave your country or even you can’t go to gym – but it is a question of the greater good and necessity.

What about data privacy? Vaccine passports are based on sensitive health data and some fear that they will open the door to governments willing to snopp on their citizens. This is what happened in Singapore, for example, where the government handed over COVID-related citizens’ data to the police.

In any case, vaccine passports will certainly be one of the tools to restart the economy. However, it should be remembered that the basis of their effectiveness will be the effective operation of the vaccines themselves.

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Source and opening photo: The Economist

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