Categories: Travel Destinations

5 Reasons The U.S. Won’t Have Vaccine Passports

5 reasons why the US will not have avaccination registry.

Gary Leff at 13. March 2021.

As of March 2020, Bill Gates is planning for passport immunity. In April, I said we didn’t know enough about the virus to make the idea work. However, we now know that reinfection is rare, at least in the first year after recovery from Covid-19, and that vaccination is largely protective against both symptomatic and asymptomatic infections. Last fall, the CEO of Qantas even said that proof of vaccination was required to fly.

That’s why the EU and others are working on the idea of a passport or vaccination certificate for those who are a more acceptable nomenclature. In fact, 62% of Americans think vaccination should be mandatory for air travel.

However, there are a number of problems that make it difficult to produce such a document, although it is certain that some countries have vaccination requirements, either for entry, to await tests, or to avoid quarantine on arrival.

  1. Proof of vaccination is not secure Singapore can use blockchain to confirm vaccination status, but the US easily issues reproducible cards. How are Americans going to prove they’ve been vaccinated?
  2. Different power levels. Different vaccines provide different levels of protection for an individual and against spread, including differences in how they prophylactically protect against ongoing mutations of the virus. Are passports accepted for some vaccines and not for others?
  3. Different vaccines are allowed in different places Would he take AstraZenecea, which is allowed in many countries around the world, but not in the US? Would a Russian who got the Sputnik V vaccine or a US citizen who got the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine be allowed to enter the US? South Africa has suspended the use of AstraZeneca because it fears the vaccine will not be as effective against the strain of virus there. Would the British citizen who was vaccinated have confirmed the presence of the vaccine in his passport upon arrival in Johannesburg?
  4. What does vaccination involve? Many experts recommend a schedule of delayed first and second doses to get the first vaccines into as many hands as possible as quickly as possible. Does the first dose of Moderans count as a vaccination if clinical trial data show greater efficacy against covidial symptoms with a single dose than Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine, which is a single dose? Does it make sense to ask for two Soverna recordings, but only one J&J recording? What happens if the 50% effective Sinovac vaccine is eligible for vaccination?
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  6. shots coming up, do you need them too? Different vaccines may have different durations of action, and boosters may be needed. How long is the vaccination certificate valid and does it change according to the vaccination received? At what point is an increase in dose necessary? And what difference does it make? (Is a booster dose from Pfizer accepted for someone initially vaccinated with Moderans, and do these requirements change from country to country?

But some problems are not so difficult to overcome. Tyler Cowan thinks that different rules in different places is too much of a problem,

How many different passport systems must the steward or entry agent read, translate, and evaluate?

The likely result of all this: Many international visitors to the United States will never know in advance whether they will be able to board a plane or attend a public event.

Anyway, now we have this. Each country has its own entry rules, even before the pandemic (passport restrictions and validity rules, visa requirements, fees, etc.), and each country has its own entry rules. The rules are loaded into TIMATIC and any airline employee can check them by nationality, place of residence, place of transit, origin and destination.

During the pandemic, testing and quarantine requirements made things more complicated, but they were handled the same way. The airlines have contracts with third parties to confirm the person’s health information, if necessary.

It doesn’t always work perfectly. Hawaii rejected valid test results (and accepted results it should not have accepted), such as those of passengers who flew home before bureaucrats realized their mistake. However, in most cases this can be clarified in advance.

As Cowen notes, the vaccination card will encourage people to get vaccinated because it will broaden their options and encourage them to get additional doses if needed to maintain access to those options.

Even though the United States, with its paper-based immunization cards and its slowness to adopt new approaches, will ultimately be unable to establish an immunization registry, it remains important for the time being. We hope that other countries will accept our card fund.

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