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COVID-19 vaccination passports and pre-flight tests. Needed or not? 7
The United States now demands a negative COVID-19 test before boarding a US-bound flight. Israel started to issue so-called Green passports for people who are vaccinated against COVID-19. But vaccines probably do not protect everyone from the silent COVID-19 infection. It is likely to be located in their nasopharyngeal area. So PCR test, for example, could be positive before the flight even in vaccinated people or people who already had Coronavirus infection. Do you see that as a problem? And what would be a solution? How to deal with the pre-flight COVID-19 testing as the population increasingly becomes vaccinated against COVID-19?
So here’s the thing, a couple of nuances. We don’t have current evidence about the vaccine protection against COVID-19 transmission. But we have very solid evidence that COVID-19 vaccines that are authorized protect against laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 disease. There is only emerging evidence for protection against COVID-19 transmission. So the first thing is that there is some evidence. We’re likely to have evidence of protection against COVID-19 transmission in the coming weeks to months. So some of that stuff will be clarified. My best guess is there will be some vaccine protection against COVID-19 transmission, although not as high as against disease. So that’s one thing. There are some pieces of data that support that notion. But in terms of your broader question, [I say this]. I think COVID-19 vaccination passports and immunity passports will have to be implemented with nuance. I don’t think we can avoid them. I think governments and other entities, like private entities, have enough incentive to ask for proof of COVID-19 immunization. Or at least to show a negative COVID-19 test, etc. So I don’t think it will be perfect. I don’t think it will have to be a carte blanche or allow people to avoid recommended precautions. But I think the key is to make these kinds of COVID-19 immunization documents equitable, effective, and ethical. And then one way of doing that is that the COVID-19 immunity passport is not imposed as a requirement too early. It should not be done in places where the COVID-19 vaccine access is not ensured, where minorities are not covered. So, there may be a time where companies and governments implemented [COVID-19 vaccination passports], but they will have to be careful about this.
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