by Arjun Walia, Collective Evolution:
- The Facts:The Biden administration is looking to organize the many projects looking to create ‘vaccine passports’ in the US. There are 17 ongoing projects, and the passports may be required for travel or to attend events.
- Reflect On:Is vaccination the most effective treatment for COVID-19? For those not choosing to get the vaccine, will life become incredibly limited?
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As global vaccine rollout for COVID-19 picks up, the long spoken about ‘vaccine passport’ is making headway in countries around the world. First starting in Israel, the US is now added to the list as a country looking to implement the surveillance measure. I recall a time when global leaders told people the vaccine would never be mandatory. Many people, including myself, felt that was a bit misleading as it felt like privileges to do anything in life would be limited if you don’t get a vaccine – seems we’re getting to that point.
The Biden administration is currently working to organize plans for how it will manage COVID-19 vaccine passports as numerous projects around the country are already working to bring this idea to life. The ‘vaccine passports’ are credentials that could be displayed on smartphone apps or be printed. The reason for them is to provide proof of vaccination to travel or attend major events like concerts or sports games.
There are at least 17 initiatives currently underway to develop their own ‘passports.’ This includes a tech company coalition called the Vaccination Credential Initiative (VCI), the World Health Organization, and the International Air Transport Association.
Earlier this week, New York state began using a digital pass developed by IBM that shows vaccination status or what your COVID-19 test results might be. Madison Square Garden in New York has shown interest in implementing the digital pass as part of their admission process.
As expected, developers are running into many technical and ethical issues related to these projects. Credential programs will require extensive privacy protections and be resistant to hacks or forgery. Due to the degree to which these project infringe on rights and freedoms, many people will likely look to create a black market for forged vaccine receipts.
Many have speculated that pharmaceutical companies have been strategizing for years to increase adult vaccination rates and develop new vaccination products specifically for adults. Ongoing COVID-19 ‘booster’ vaccinations have been brought up as a possibility to add to their already highly profitable product lines.
The Biden administration stated that they will be providing more information about vaccine passports soon. The hope, according to plans, is that travel with vaccine proof could begin by summer 2021.