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3 Dec, 2020 13:34

WHO warns against issuing ‘immunity passports,’ but looks at possibility of ‘e-vaccination certificates’ for travel

WHO warns against issuing ‘immunity passports,’ but looks at possibility of ‘e-vaccination certificates’ for travel

The World Health Organization has said it is looking into the possible use of “e-vaccination certificates” for travelers, but advised member states against issuing “immunity passports” for those who have recovered from Covid-19.

Speaking on Thursday, Dr. Hans Kluge, regional director for Europe at the World Health Organization (WHO), said the organization was looking at ways to improve the safety of international travel in the light of the pandemic. 

“We are looking very closely into the use of technology in this Covid-19 response [including]how we can work with member states toward an e-vaccination certificate,” he told a virtual briefing in Copenhagen. 

Kluge told his audience that the WHO does not recommend the use of immunity passports for people who have previously tested positive for Covid. The Geneva-based organization has previously said there is no evidence prior infection will protect people from catching Covid again. 

The medical expert said the imminent approval of a number of vaccines was really positive, but Europe still faced substantial challenges ahead. 

According to Kluge, the continent currently accounts for more than half of all Covid deaths and 40 percent of new global cases. He contended that the epicenter was slowly moving eastwards, with the hardest-hit countries now in central and southern Europe – a factor that will continue to limit travel through the winter months. 

Also on rt.com Ryanair boss slams UK government plan to shorten travel quarantine to five days if passenger tests negative for Covid-19

Debate has raged over the past few weeks around whether passengers should be required to produce a vaccination certificate when travelling.

Qantas’s announcement that they will require all passengers to produce such a certification once vaccinations are readily available was met with a mixed response. 

Meanwhile, Michael O’Leary, the CEO of Ryanair, dismissed making travel on his airline conditional on a piece of paper. 

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