What is a vaccine “passport”? What are these credentials used for? : NPR

Excelsior Pass in New York is an app that you can use to show evidence of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test.

New York Governor’s Press Office via AP

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New York Governor’s Press Office via AP

Excelsior Pass in New York is an app that you can use to show evidence of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test.

New York Governor’s Press Office via AP

Vaccine “passports” make headlines by the governor in a handful of states and elicit emergency measures.

So what exactly are these credentials and what are they used for?

What is a vaccine passport?

This is credentials that can be used to indicate that a person has been vaccinated. The same technique can be used to view a person’s coronavirus test results. This is a way to indicate a person’s health, typically via a smartphone app or a printed QR code.

Dr. Sieg Emmanuel, a professor of medical ethics at the University of Pennsylvania and a former member of President Biden’s Transitional COVID, said: -19 The Advisory Committee told NPR.

Sharon Pinkerton, Senior Vice President of Policy for Airlines for America, an aviation industry group, said: “Just digitize a small piece of paper with vaccine information.”

The basic idea is to have a QR code (probably stored in your digital wallet) that shows your vaccination status. State health departments, pharmacies, and healthcare systems have this information. Your status will be verified with your identity, downloaded in some way and a QR code will be generated. The QR code is then scanned and entered by another app.

Why are vaccine passports controversial?

Some people are concerned about how their health is preserved and used. There are also concerns about fairness. Making vaccinations and access to these credentials for people of all ages and backgrounds. Others do not want to be vaccinated against the coronavirus. You may also be confused by the idea that access to certain locations can be blocked if you are not vaccinated.

Like masks and vaccines, vaccine passports are politicized.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis last week issued a presidential order banning businesses from requiring customers to provide a certificate of COVID-19 vaccination for entry or service.

The order states that “the so-called COVID-19 vaccine passport reduces personal freedom and impairs patient privacy,” and demands a pass for “daily life” activities such as going to sporting events, restaurants and cinemas. , Two classes are created. Of citizens based on vaccination. “

Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued a presidential order this week banning state agencies from developing vaccine passport requirements or adjusting services based on an individual’s COVID-19 vaccination status. Publicly funded organizations are prohibited from requiring consumers to provide a document of vaccine status in order to receive services or enter.

Will the US Government require Americans to carry their vaccine passports?

The White House categorically says no.

“The government is no longer and will not support a system that requires Americans to carry their credentials,” White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said this week. “There is no federal immunization database, and there is no federal obligation to require everyone to have a single vaccination credential.”

The government’s interest is to protect the privacy and rights of Americans and prevent such systems from being used unfairly by people, Pusaki said.

“As you know, there is a move in the private sector to identify ways to return to events where large numbers of people gather safely in soccer stadiums and theaters. That is the beginning of the idea and we expect it to come to a conclusion. I’m doing it. “

Psaki said the federal government will soon provide FAQ-like guidance to address people’s questions about privacy, security and discrimination.

What problems does a vaccine passport solve?

These credentials can be a solution to several different problems, depending on your settings.

One is that it helps society to safely return to normal activities.

Bioethicist Emmanuel states that the path could be a way to lift the substantive restrictions currently in place for COVID-19.

“Public health has the principle that you should use the least restrictive method you need,” he explains. “this [credential] “Vaccinated people are immune and do not have to comply with certain restrictions. They are unlikely to pass or infect the virus.” “”

In New York, the Excelsior Pass is “a tool for accelerating the resumption of the New York economy and its return to pre-pandemic activity” and “free, fast and free to accept COVID-19 vaccination proof or negative test results. It’s a safe way. ” Compliance with state reopening guidelines. This pass is an option for individuals and businesses to view vaccination status, or PCR or antigen test status.

For companies like airlines that need to screen their national health requirements, digital passes can save a lot of time.

“Digitalizing paper basically allows airlines to process passengers faster,” said Pinkerton of Airlines For America. “Digitalized testing or health or vaccine credentials enable automatic without the agent touching a piece of paper and looking at it and determining that it is accurate and meets the requirements. That’s the decision, which is, in fact, automation and passenger facilitation to speed up travel within the airport. “

Where can they be used?

They are almost certainly used for international travel, and in many countries there are already test requirements for arriving passengers. However, it can also be used for sporting events, cinemas, music venues, workplaces, and domestic travel.

Why is it called a passport when it’s not just about traveling abroad?

That’s a problem. Traveling abroad usually requires an actual passport. In contrast, these credentials are often optional and can be used near your home. Even when traveling abroad, airlines say the new credentials are similar to TSA Precheck or CLEAR. These are optional means of faster check-in.

People working on the development of new COVID-19 status credentials generally say that “passport” is a misnomer and the more appropriate term is “digital credentials” or “health credentials”.

Where are these paths already in use?

New York has already launched the Excelsior Pass. This is optional and can be used by a variety of companies.

For travel, some of these passes have already been used to meet the requirements for coronavirus testing. Created by a non-profit organization called The Commons Project, the Common Pass is used on all Lufthansa flights from Germany to the United States. JetBlue is experimenting with the Common Pass on flights between Boston and Aruba. United has tested on flights between Newark and London Heathrow.

American Airlines uses an app called VeriFLY on international flights to the United States and on flights from the United States to at least eight countries.

Is there any precedent for requesting vaccine credentials?

Okay. Schools and universities usually require students to prove vaccination.

And for travel, such requirements are routine. Many countries have long required arriving travelers to receive specific vaccinations.

Certain types of credentials are optional, such as TSA Precheck, Global Entry, and CLEAR, but there are other precedents that allow for faster entry.

Do these passes really need in many places?

Due to the politicization of American life and other characteristics, the adoption of these passes may not be sufficient in places such as restaurants, theaters, and music venues.

Georges Benjamin, secretary general of the American Public Health Association, told STAT that the path represents a “slippery slope.”

“It’s unrealistic,” Benjamin said. “This is a country that does not allow national ID cards. It will be difficult to get compliance, and I think it will lead to politics. I would like to avoid it.”

Audrey Fix Schaefer, an independent music venue organization, the National Association of Independent Venue Associations, reassured that there would be no national requirements for such a pass.

“I am grateful to know that there is no national mandatory verification program. Independent locations make their own policy decisions, taking into account the guidelines and recommendations from the CDC. However, vaccine validation is hot. On the topic, the effectiveness of implementing validation only at live events, the effectiveness of not being another business where people gather, the cost impact of SMEs, fair access and ethics surrounding such programs. I have questions or concerns about the problem. “

What is a vaccine “passport”? What are these credentials used for? : NPR

Source link What is a vaccine “passport”? What are these credentials used for? : NPR

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