developed countries are in the midst of a vaccine roll out and there has been chatter here and there about a so called vaccine travel passport. In these conversations, people compare it to the yellow fever vaccine passport. It seems bizarre to me that we are comparing this COVID19 vaccine which, let’s face it, is still quite elementary and comparing it to the yellow fever vaccine which has many more years of data under it’s belt and is a get once and be protected vaccine.
The data is still coming in as to how long the COVID19 vaccine is actually effective for and that it is still possible to spread the virus even after vaccination.
Yet, the solution seems to be putting in place a travel passport. A passport that just shows you’ve been vaccinated but still at the risk of carrying the virus and spreading it to people who are not or cannot be vaccinated for a myriad of reasons. A passport that only shows that you’ve been vaccinated for this strain of the virus. Is the idea here to have people from developed countries vaccinated so that they can go out and attend to developing countries who rely on tourism for much of their income? Or is it so citizens of developed countries can only travel to other developed countries?
It’s a passport that only those in wealthy countries will have and I don’t believe for a minute that it will allow you to travel to any country as you please. “Travel bubbles” will soon open and not to every neighbouring country. Only those that politically make sense of course. The jury is out on which company’s vaccine will be “accepted” in this passport scheme. Obviously, this will also most probably be a political matter. Strengthening of ties and allies.
Soon enough, we’re going to need to be vaccinated for all strains every year. Where does it stop? Do they want to implement a passport for the flu as well? Coronovirus’s have been around before and will continue to be around.
And why are private companies all of sudden getting a say on all of this? QANTAS have been very vocal about the need for all passengers to be vaccinated as a condition of travel. Whilst the World Travel and Tourism Council are against this. I can see it already, airlines marketing their flight as virus free and only vaccinated individuals are allowed but please pay premium to fly with us. Fly with us and us only as we are certified *insert some made up metrics or award here*.
At the beginning it was all about reducing the number of severe cases and from overloading our health care system.
And now, I’m not sure what it’s about anymore.