Most people are dying to get back to the usual routine. People are afraid 2021 could be lost like the way 2020 was lost being stuck in the house and not being able to move. Kenyans would like the opportunity to travel the world, attend concerts and sporting events and dine out.
The only ways to be able to comfortably live the house without fear of contracting the disease is through vaccination, and herd immunity. Some doctors add that recovering from the disease would give a person immunity. Getting herd immunity is difficult now because it would require 70% of the population to have gotten the disease and have recovered from it.
Thanks to the recent medical break through we now have vaccines from several different pharmaceuticals. There are covid vaccines from Moderna, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Sputnik V, Johnson and Johnsons and many others.
When a person gets the vaccine there would need to be proof of them having it so that they would be able to move around. Hence vaccine passports.
A vaccine passport is a digital or paper document that shows a person has received vaccination against a disease. A covid vaccine passport is also a digital or paper document certifying that the individual has been vaccinated from Covid-19, has tested negative for the virus or has healed from the disease.
A Covid-19 vaccine could be used for international travel and can accepted by many governments. With the hope it will prevent travel restrictions like testing or hotel quarantine requirements upon arrival.
The need to vaccinate people for them to travel is not new. Yellow Fever cards are required in order to allow travel into many countries.
This will be a huge lift for the tourism industry which lost more than one trillion dollars last year due to the pandemic.
Countries all over the world have been talking about covid vaccine passport letting citizens travel within and without them. China and Japan’s vaccine passport can be accessed digitally via an app. The European union has introduced “Digital Green Certificate” to allow travel within Europe. Israel introduced “Green Pass Program” that lets her citizens to travel freely.
The vaccine passport or digital health passes will encourage the economy to bounce back and make more younger people to get vaccinated. As they would want to go back and enjoy recreational and commercial activities.
Potential Vaccine Passport issues
Covid-19 has shown how wide the rift in inequity. Minority communities in various countries aren’t able to get the vaccine as well as the others. For example, Black Americans in the US have received the vaccine at half the rate of white Americans.
First world countries have been able to vaccinate its citizens more than developing and third world countries. They have also caused a potential shortage by buying medication in advance. Low- and middle-income economies lack adequate resources to buy the vaccination to fully vaccinate their population. 70 third world countries have not yet begun vaccination campaigns.
There are different vaccines available out there and they all vary in their efficacy levels. As these range from 65.5% to 95%. Also, there is not enough information to how long each of these vaccines will work. There are some vaccines that will last 6 months others will offer protection for 2 years.
Another consideration would be, if the vaccines do prevent the actual spread of the disease to other people.
Countries must come together to agree which vaccine passports should be standardized. There are initial problems whereby some vaccines are not allowed in certain countries. EU covid vaccine passports would only be eligible to work in Europe. Israel has signed agreements with Greece and Cyprus to allow travel between the countries.
Different countries are using different vaccines to tackle the pandemic. It becomes more difficult as some countries do not recognize certain vaccines. For example, Iceland only prefers vaccines from Europe and WHO, they don’t allow Sputnik V and Chinese vaccines. EU’s digital covid passport will only acknowledge vaccines that have only been authorized in Europe.