Earlier this week, it was reported government health officials will be issuing Americans “vaccination record” cards, but what does that mean?
While it’s no secret “vaccination passports” might be on the horizon, officials have suggested the cards currently under development at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are more so intended to help Americans keep track of their vaccination schedule, reminding them when and where to go for their second doses.
The two leading vaccine candidates from Pfizer and Moderna each require two doses. In addition, the immunizations are not interchangeable, so it is critical people know which vaccine they’ve received before getting their second shots, NBC News reported.
L.J. Tan, chief strategy officer for the Immunization Action Coalition, a nonprofit advocacy group, told the outlet the cards are just an old school reminder for people rather than “passports” for entry into places of business.
“These are just for the person to have something to remind themselves of what vaccine they got that they can give to the provider when they come back to get their second dose,” he explained.
Some, though, are still wondering if so-called “vaccination passports” could be in our future. The answer to that question is, it’s possible.
In the future, air travel could be greatly hampered by such verification.
The Hill reported in late November that the International Air Transport Association is in the final stage of developing a digital COVID-19 passport that would include information about potential travelers’ COVID-19 testing and vaccination records.
“Testing is the first key to enable international travel without quarantine measures,” explained Alexandre de Juniac, CEO of the IATA. “The second key is the global infrastructure needed to securely manage, share, and verify test data matched with traveler identities in compliance with border control requirements.”
While the idea hasn’t been fully embraced by any government (U.K. officials are distancing themselves from the possibility), some airlines and businesses plan to move ahead with such “passports.”
The CEO of the Australian airline Qantas signaled he plans to make COVID-19 vaccinations a requirement for anyone who wants to step foot on his carrier’s airplanes.
“We are looking at changing our terms and conditions to say, for international travelers, that we will ask people to have a vaccination before they can get on the aircraft,” said CEO Alan Joyce.
Spokespersons for Korean Air and Air New Zealand have said they may embrace the same mandate for travelers, according to Fox News.
As Faithwire reported in early November, entertainment company Ticketmaster said it will require ticket-buyers to present evidence to prove they have been vaccinated for COVID-19 or show they’ve tested negative for the virus before purchasing show passes. After a largely negative reaction, Ticketmaster issued a public statement saying there are “absolutely no” requirements to present evidence of a vaccine before going into concerts.