jab status Airlines working on Covid 'passports' to allow vaccinated passengers travel overseas
THE Covid-19 vaccination "passport" may be one of the most coveted items of 2021, allowing inoculated passengers to travel overseas once more.
The International Transport Association, which represents major airlines, is currently drawing up a digital vaccination "passport" that could be issued to people who have proof of having had the Covid-19 vaccine.
It would mean a person's vaccination status could be digitally linked to their normal passport so airlines would let them on board.
The move would only be possible well into next year when potential Covid-19 vaccines were offered to the wider population outside of the most at-risk groups.
"I could see it happening at some point in the future," said public health expert Prof Ivan Perry (inset) when asked about the potential for such a Covid vaccination passport.
However, he said various hurdles have to be overcome yet including licensing of vaccines, reassurances about safety and how these will work.
Proof of yellow fever vaccination is already essential for travel to some parts of the world, the University College Cork professor said.
So far it is unclear if the potential Covid-19 vaccines likely to be licensed this month or next can prevent illness from the virus alone or can block transmission as well.
Somebody who takes the vaccine would not fall ill but might still be able to transmit it to others.
Some countries like New Zealand and Australia may also make the jab a condition for incoming travellers.
Asked what position Aer Lingus would take on called vaccination passports a spokeswoman said the airline welcomes the recent positive news regarding vaccines.
"However, Aer Lingus believes the immediate priority needs to be on the introduction of a testing standard that is rapid and affordable," she said.
This will bring about a important increase in international travel, she added.
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