The World Health Organization (W.H.O.) on Tuesday said it rejects coronavirus vaccine passports for travel “at this stage” because of doubts over the efficacy of the injections as well as equity concerns.
“We as W.H.O. are saying at this stage we would not like to see the vaccination passport as a requirement for entry or exit because we are not certain at this stage that the vaccine prevents transmission,” W.H.O. spokeswoman Margaret Harris told a news conference in Geneva, Reuters reports.
“There are all those other questions, apart from the question of discrimination against the people who are not able to have the vaccine for one reason or another,” Harris added, echoing an argument already gaining momentum in the U.S. and beyond.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) on Monday vowed to take action against the broad push for vaccine passports. https://t.co/Vpd7tTkUme
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) March 30, 2021
The W.H.O. previously rejected coronavirus passports as recently as last month, with Breitbart News reporting then it would be unfair to nations with limited vaccination capabilities.
“Vaccination is just not available enough around the world and is not available certainly on an equitable basis,” Dr. Michael Ryan, director of the W.H.O. Health Emergencies Program, said at a press briefing on March 8.
Ryan said the W.H.O., the United Nations’ (U.N.) official health body, advises against the use of coronavirus vaccine passports while there are still “real practical and ethical considerations” surrounding their implementation.
The issue of coronavirus passports has sparked heated globally but especially in the UK where Prime Minister Boris Johnson has hinted at their introduction over the past few weeks.
The British government is understood to want Britons to have the option of displaying either their vaccination status or test results, ensuring those who cannot be vaccinated for health reasons are not penalised.
Johnson addressed the subject directly last month, saying: “There are deep and complex issues that we need to explore, and ethical issues about what the role is for government in mandating or for people to have such a thing or indeed in banning people doing such a thing.
Vaccine Passports Would Be State Reaching Too Far into Britons’ Lives, Warns Senior Tory MP https://t.co/iN8MGuNKv1
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) April 5, 2021
“We can’t be discriminatory against people who can’t have the vaccine.”
The NHS app is being considered as an easy way to show proof of vaccination or a negative coronavirus test result, although as Breitbart London reported, Johnson is also keen to trial “immunity certificates.”
Currently in the UK, those who’ve received the coronavirus jab are given a vaccination card and the details are added to their medical records.