Denmark Announces Digital COVID-19 ‘Vaccine Passport’
Welcome to the brave new world. Are you planning to travel outside the country? You’re probably going to need more than just your U.S. passport. You may also have to show your COVID-19 ‘vaccine passport’ before you are allowed to board a flight.
Back in June 2020, we told you about how tech startups are racing to develop unethical ‘immunity passports’ for COVID-19. At the time, experts warned of privacy issues and a high risk of discrimination. The warning did little to stop a host of countries from developing to track citizens who have recovered from the deadly virus to stem the spread of coronavirus.
The idea behind the immunity passport was first proposed by some governments that the detection of antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) said there is not enough evidence about the effectiveness of the immunity passport saying:
Estonia was the first country in Europe to jump on the idea. The country said last year that it was testing a “digital immunity passport” to track those who had recovered from COVID-19 and gained some immunity, although questions remained over whether or for how long people remain protected.
Now, Denmark is embracing the same idea. The Scandinavian country announced that it is developing a digital “vaccine passport” for people who have received a COVID-19 vaccine, a move that may enable them to travel to countries where such documentation is required during the pandemic, according to a report from Reuters. In an email statement on Friday, Denmark Health Ministry said:
“It is expected that there may be requirements from other countries to present vaccine documentation upon entry. A Danish vaccine passport can be used here.”
If everything goes as planned, the vaccine passport may be rolled out in the first months of this year, which can be accessed through the Danish public health website, the ministry said. It wasn’t clear if the passport would be made available via an app.
The vaccine passport is not limited to world governments alone. Private companies are also working on a similar measure. For example, in November of last year, Australian airliner Qantas said it would insist in the future that passengers have a COVID-19 vaccination before they fly.