What Is Vaccine Passport? Reason Behind India Opposing The Idea At International Fora
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Updated date : 23 June 2021
Vaccination passport is not a new concept. People traveling across the countries have to submit their vaccination certificates to get their visas accepted. The outbreak of Covid-19 not only stopped interstate or intercity traveling but also almost every country’s government banned international travel to prevent the virus from spreading.
As the months passed by and the scientists from several countries like India, America, UK, Russia, etc. worked day and night and created vaccines and then the vaccination drive began. People started getting vaccinated and but due to high demand and low supply, it has not been possible to get everyone vaccinated as quickly as required. Since we are talking about vaccine passports so let us tell you about it.
When the vaccination began and the people who had to travel during the pandemic whether domestically or internationally have to provide the corona negative test results and show their clear record in the Indian App Aarogya Setu. This became an eligibility criteria for the travellers to get entrance in the jurisdiction of another state or country.
As mentioned at the starting of this article that the vaccine passport is not a new concept as countries require visitors to be vaccinated against several diseases apart from Covid-19 when they want to visit their country.
For example, Rohan is an Indian citizen and he is traveling to USA for the first time. Now he is supposed to go through some medical tests and the results should come out negative for diseases like hepatitis B etc. If the results come out positive then the USA government has the authority to cancel his USA visa. The same is the case with Covid-19 and the countries are vaccinating their citizens, not allowing foreign travellers to enter their country is a safety precaution.
Reason Behind Opposing The Idea Of Vaccine Passport (For Covid-19)
The Union Health Minister, Dr. Harsh Vardhan told G-7 summit, health ministers, at a conference to which India was a part and showed its concern against the vaccine passport by calling it out as “Discriminatory to people in developing world”. It is because first world countries like America, UK have vaccinated around 40% of their population but countries like India that have a population of more than 150 Crores have been able to vaccinate only 3%-4% of the people.
The WHO spoke that it is also not sure that how efficient and protective these vaccines provided by the governments are. Apart from this WHO said that enabling the vaccine passport will impact the vaccination drive of the countries as there are limited vaccines available and the legal citizen of the country would be the priority.
Another factor that plays an important role here is masking, social distancing and frequent sanitization are in the frontline of precautions against Coronavirus and the as per WHO’s suggestions vaccine passports may become a reason for people to feel free and stop taking these precautions.
Places Using Vaccine Passports
There are quite a few countries like American Universities and colleges that made full vaccination mandatory for the students if they want to stay on campus. As per the reports, some of the universities are ready to provide vaccines to their international students by running vaccination campaigns on campus. Whereas USA’s Ivy league universities like Harvard and Columbia have asked their students to upload their vaccination certificates online.
Talking about IBM in the state of New York has designed an excelsior pass which is an app that can detect if a person is safe or not by getting access to the government’s vaccination or health records.
Discrimination or A Precautionary Measure?
No matter the political differences between any of the countries, the governments are doing what is best for their citizens first as they are responsible for their citizens first and then any foreigner. But there can some consequences of vaccine passports too like avoiding frontline precautions like masking and social distancing. Since we are no one to decide whether it is right or wrong. Let’s just wait and see what might happen in the near future.
People should avoid travelling to other countries but when it comes down to work-related travelling, one has to go. This is why the vaccine passport seems to be the need of the hour. This would work as a safety precaution and since the whole world is aware of the coronavirus’s impact, things can wait because human life is the most important thing and the rest of the things can wait. So before travelling to any other city, state, or country get yourself vaccinated, and also if you have a travel insurance policy then it would be much safer for you.
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