The World Health Organisation has said it is considering the use of ‘e-vaccination certifications’ to ensure international travel can resume once mass vaccination programs roll out.

Medical expert Dr Siddharta Sankar Datta told a briefing in Copenhagen that the agency is investigating using technology to prove travellers are fit to fly.

“We are looking very closely into the use of technology in this COVID-19 response, one of them how we can work with member states toward an e-vaccination certificate,” he said.

The agency is not considering the use of ‘immunity passports’.

University of Exeter Law School’s Dr Ana Beduschi said: “Digital health passports may contribute to the long-term management of the COVID-19 pandemic, but their introduction poses essential questions for the protection of data privacy and human rights.

“They build on sensitive personal health information to create a new distinction between individuals based on their health status, which can then be used to determine the degree of freedoms and rights individuals may enjoy.”

“Given that digital health passports contain sensitive personal information, domestic laws and policies should carefully consider the conditions of collection, storage and uses of the data by private sector providers.”

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“It is also crucial that the communities that have already been badly impacted by the pandemic have swift access to affordable tests and, eventually, vaccines. Otherwise, deploying digital health passports could further deepen the existing inequalities in society.”

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