COVID-19 vaccines continue being rolled out in countries across the world with more and more people open to travel after being cooped up indoors for a year or more. Countries have begun discussions on the use of “vaccine passports”. These passports will most likely be a trend in air travel. Travel medicine experts believe these passports will play a key role going forward. A person is considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks after receiving the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine 2 weeks after the shot or 3 weeks after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine or 2 weeks after the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

China unveiled its digital vaccine passport whilst Japan and the UK had announced plans for something similar in March. The vaccine passports will be accessed via an app that will allow people to verify their vaccination status by scanning a QR code. Meanwhile, the European Union is looking to introduce a “Digital Green Certificate” to allow citizens who have proof of vaccination or negative result covid test to travel across Europe.

The digital vaccine passport is preferred to vaccination cards especially in the wake of reports of fake COVID-19 COVID-19 vaccination cards being sold online for hundreds of dollars. The digital option is therefore the safest in order to curb fraud. However, the issue of safety of information has also arisen. This is because not everyone has a smartphone.

This is not the first time people will require a vaccine to travel. Proof of immunization for yellow fever is already needed to travel to countries like Ghana, Brazil and Malaysia. Yellow fever which is transmitted by mosquitoes requires vaccination not just to protect you but to keep you from transmitting the virus.

All in all, regardless of vaccination status, everyone should still be following the same COVID-19 precautions that have been in place for the past year which include hand washing, masking and social distancing.

What are your thoughts regarding the COVID-19 vaccine? Do you prefer to get the vaccine passport or the negative result covid certificate? Leave your comments below.