The debate rages on. For or against a “immune” passport certifying that you have been vaccinated against COVID-19? While the European Union wants to adopt a “green” passport by early summer, the United States is firmly against it. An overview of the various initiatives proposed so far.
Estonia, a small country of 1.3 million people, was one of the first to take an interest in the concept of a vaccine passport. It has to be said that for 20 years this Baltic country has been viewed as a “pioneer in digital democracy,” as Marcus Kulga, an Estonian by birth and fellow at the MacDonald-Laurier Institute in Ottawa, points out. They’ve digitized pretty much everything for 20 years, and it’s as if the whole community had been digitized somehow. So Estonia already has an electronic system of health records, including coronavirus vaccination data. Since the start of the pandemic, authorities have also indicated that they are working on a possible vaccine passport. By the end of April, vaccinated Estonians will receive a certificate in the form of a QR code, which can be downloaded or printed as needed. Meanwhile, Estonia is also implementing a pilot project in cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO) to find a solution that can be adopted on a larger scale.
A passport before summer in the European Union
For the 27 members of the European Union (EU), the issue appears to be heard: A “digital green certificate” will be launched by early summer. At least that was the announcement made in mid-March by the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen. The goal is to allow EU citizens to travel freely within its borders. The certificate will be issued to people who have been vaccinated, or those who have tested positive for COVID-19 or who have recovered. Once again, it will be a QR code, which can be provided in digital or printed matter. Frederick Miran, director of the Center for International Studies and Research at the University of Montreal, recalls that in normal times, there is no border control in the Schengen area, which includes the territories of the 26 member states of the European Union. “We must also understand the importance of tourism to many southern countries [de l’Europe]Who paid for a vaccine passport. There are a lot of economic issues. “
Not in the United States
If states like Hawaii, New York and Illinois support a vaccination passport, then it is quite the opposite in Florida, Texas, Missouri, Tennessee, Georgia and Nebraska. The governors of Texas and Florida signed an executive order prohibiting such a document in their state. And don’t count on the White House to decide the issue. “The government does not and will not support a system that requires Americans to be certified,” spokeswoman Jane Psaki said on April 6. “There will be no federal immunization database or federal obligation to require everyone to be certified,” she added. A decision that does not surprise Raphael Jacob, the Raul Dandorand Chair and US policy scholar. It is a logical decision for Joe Biden when one knows Americans’ near-sacred respect for constitutional rights and individual freedoms. From a political point of view, that was the president’s decision. “
Convincing young people in Israel
Half of Israel’s 9 million people have already been vaccinated against the Coronavirus. These Israelis are benefiting from a “green” passport that allows them to resume an almost normal life. Once again, thanks to the QR code provided with a smartphone, people who have been vaccinated or declared to be cured of COVID-19 can go to restaurants, bars or attend sporting events. But this procedure does not make people happy. Vaccination opponents denounce the measure, which is considered discriminatory. For its part, the Israeli government says it wants the “green” passport to encourage young people to vaccinate in greater numbers.
A national priority in Greece
For Greece, the permissibility of vaccination is a national priority. “We only have the vaccine, so let’s bet on it to restart the economy midway,” he repeats to everyone who wants to hear Greece’s Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis. It must be said that his country’s economy depends to a large extent on tourism, which has been severely affected since the beginning of the epidemic. Besides Spain, Greece is one of the countries that put the most pressure on the European Union to adopt a green passport in the Schengen area. Meanwhile, Greek authorities have already reached an agreement with Israel to welcome tourists. Negotiations with the United Kingdom are also underway for a similar deal.
Coronopas in Denmark
Danes are eagerly awaiting the opening of the stands scheduled for April 21 and the opening of museums, theaters and cinemas from May 6. To reach it, those who have been vaccinated will be able to show their “cornobas”, which was recently implemented in this country of 5.8 million people. The document is available through a secure app or it can be printed. If Denmark was one of the first countries in Europe to implement such a measure, it is not for everyone. Traders complain about having to put in place control measures, an additional responsibility they would have undertaken without.
How about Quebec?
1he is Last April, the Ethics Committee at the National Institute of Public Health of Quebec (INSPQ) endorsed the application of a “shielded” passport. The committee concluded that “the expected benefits in terms of charity, freedom and solidarity are slightly greater than the identified defects in terms of fairness, respect for privacy, and competence in the areas of travel, activities. And entertainment.” The Minister of Health, Christian Dube, had already expressed his interest in such a measure, a position that had a strong reaction to Quebec spokesperson Solidere Gabriel Nadu Dubois. “I find certainty, or at least the emergence of certainty that the Minister of Health thought this would be a good thing,” he said on the topic.
For Marcos Colga, the issuance of a vaccine passport is first and foremost a political issue, not a technical one. Yet he realizes that there can be real technical obstacles for some. “I recently attended a meeting and people laughed when I told them about the Estonian model. I think we still use fax in the health system! He says the key to success is having a system that works for everyone everywhere. Trust is important. This, he says, is the great interest in the Estonian model using blockchain technology (Blockchain) To secure data. “It doesn’t require infrastructure. We can put it all together quickly. So the question is not whether we are able to do it, but whether we want to do it. It will be a social and political decision that governments have to make. But they will have to make a decision quickly.”