G7 countries have agreed to coordinate a plan for the development of a vaccine passport, according to reports.
iPolitics.ca reported on March 29 that Canada’s Health Minister Patty Hajdu, after meeting with health ministers on Monday from the G7 – this being, Canada, the U.S., the U.K., France, Germany, Italy, and Japan – is supporting a plan to develop a vaccine travel certificate that is consistent with other countries.
“The G7 partners agreed that there needs to be some consistency and some collaboration among the countries, so we have some kind of system that would be recognizable, no matter where a person was travelling,” Hajdu said.
U.S. & EU move forward
U.S. President Joe Biden is also developing a system that would standardize proof of vaccination, the Washington Post reported on Sunday.
The European Commission, too, has announced its own approach, called a “digital green certificate,” which officials are planning to launch this summer.
This certificate would provide proof that a person has been vaccinated against COVID-19, has recovered from the virus, or has a negative test result, and has already received support from 60 travel and tourism organizations.
The “green pass” is inspired by an initiative used by Israel, which uses an app that allows people to show proof of vaccination or if they have presumed immunity after contracting COVID-19.
“We are having conversations with the Americans, but also through the G7 and many other international forums, exploring this idea of some form of … evidence of vaccination at international borders,” Minister Hajdu was quoted as saying.
Canada’s Health Minister has previously expressed concern over vaccine passports, citing the lack of evidence around whether people who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 can still pass the virus along to others.
G7 countries reportedly haven’t set a deadline for vaccine passports, but have made a “commitment” to continue investigating the idea, Minister Hajdu said.
“We are having those conversations about what international travel might look like, and what kinds of criteria would need to go into any kind of vaccination certification process, and how we deal with the equity issues that will likely arise as a result of inequitable access to vaccination globally,” she said.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has previously said that such certificates can raise issues of discrimination.
Proof of vaccination for international travel is “something that has existed for a long time,” Trudeau told reporters on March 12, but he downplayed the possibility of introducing such a system on the domestic level, noting how “there are questions of fairness and justice that come into play.”
“We need to think of people who, for medical reasons or for other circumstances, cannot or do not want to be vaccinated,” Trudeau said.
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