Advantages and Disadvantages of COVID Passport
The UK government is set to begin the trials of COVID Passport or COVID Certification scheme on 16th April 2021. Covid-19 Immunity passports are the new certificates attesting that the bearer can move or travel to foreign countries provided, they have received vaccination or are immune to the disease. Arguments flare-up in its favour as well as against it as people can also easily forge it to misuse. The Advantages and Disadvantages of COVID Passport distinguish the pros and cons of this immunity certificate.
What is a COVID Passport?
An immunity passport is also known as COVID immunity certificate, recovery certificate or a release certificate. This document attest that its bearer is immune to a contagious disease such as COVID-19. Under the scheme, travellers will be enabled to attend events on the basis of the facts that they are either immune or have received the vaccine. COVID passport system would be trialled as a way to enable large events, such as sports and music events, to go back to normalcy in the post-pandemic period.
The immunity passports, also known as COVID Passports are a potential way to contain the pandemic and allow people to travel for business purposes freely as before. Immunity certificate or COVID Passport will be a necessary document for people who have either been vaccinated or otherwise developed immunity by surviving COVID-19.
Also read: Pros and Cons of COVID-19 Vaccine
What are the Advantages of COVID Passport?
The world desperate to return to normalcy would start from resuming international travel and reopen economies. With the UK stepping into the scheme of COVID immunity passport, many European countries would benefit from various advantages of COVID Passport or the so-called immunity certificates.
1. COVID Passport is a ticket to move freely
A digital or verified document will indicate whether you have received a COVID-19 vaccination or not. This document will also be proof that you have recently tested negative for the coronavirus. You can travel more freely within your communities, other countries or participate in any event that has largely been closed off during the pandemic. This immunity certificate will be a ticket for many to move without being bothered.
2. Incentives for many people
COVID Passport scheme will encourage more people to enrol for a vaccination programme. Everyone is trying to switch to normal life and lead their lives back to what it was before the pandemic. They can only do so once they receive covid immunity certificates after testing negative or immune to the contagion.
3. More Opportunities for Work
Those who have been staying unemployed or deprived of access to certain work opportunities due to the pandemic can get better work opportunities. Millions of people had to lose their jobs due to the pandemic last year. As people receive immunity certificates, they can get better chances to resume their work-life balance and improve with the freedom to travel.
4. Certificate holders can travel abroad or within their countries
Being vaccinated means you will be more immune to the severe health effects of Covid-19. If people are vaccinated, they are unlikely to get sick with Covid-19 while travelling abroad for official work or holidays.
What are the Disadvantages of COVID Passport?
Besides being aware of the COVID Passport benefits, you must also be aware of the expected pitfalls. Vaccine passports may open the world to many; they may also lead to some social and economic problems.
1. Lack of scientific evidence
The vaccine may not be able to render positive effects on the recipient. Some people taking other medication for pre-existing medical conditions may have to feel its side effects, which can also be fatal. COVID Passport for such recipients will be useless as the situation worsens further.
2. Variants of Coronavirus
Many countries have started rolling out a vaccine for COVID-19, whereas some countries have been hit by 2nd and 3rd waves of the contagion, which is more resistive and stronger than its previous variant. Given that the current vaccine programme is either a hit or a miss, experts believe it would be premature to introduce the passport system.
3. Advantages of COVID Passport will be for the Privileged
COVID Passports benefits those who are already immune and can combat virulent diseases. The vaccine rollout system is based on the lottery system or system based on authority and privileges; some people will be vaccinated before others. Others who don’t get vaccinated may also lose out on opportunities. The business owners and industrialists would be on the top of the recipients’ list.
The lack or limited supply of vaccine to others may also lead people to follow malpractice. Since a COVID Immunity certificate is easy to forge, the governments or issuing authorities have to be prepared to deal with this issue without fail.
5. User Privacy
Generally, the user details will be stored by the NHS after the vaccination programme. However, the information mentioned in the passports is prone to exposure to other agencies. How the user information is going to be processed and put into practical effect also raises concerns about the government's ethical use of immunity certificates or concerning authorities.
The use of the COVID Passport and the way user’s information will be processed are still debatable concerns. Hiring immune professionals or COVID Passport holders in nursing homes or frontline services could reduce the virus's spread in those facilities and better protect the people most vulnerable to COVID-19. The rest of the concerns are covered in the Advantages and Disadvantages of COVID Passport.