Recovery, Renewal, Resilience

Lessons for Resilience

Consider the ethics of vaccine passports for COVID-19
Planning for recovery
Implementing recovery

Vaccination certification for COVID-19, sometimes referred to as immunity/vaccine passports, are being considered by some countries as a strategy to relax the strict measures that have been imposed on society over the last year. The document is designed to certify people as immune to COVID-19 based on vaccination. Consider the ethical issues associated with varying restrictions on individual liberties based on possession of a vaccine certificate. Consider:

  • If a vaccination certification programme could cause unequal treatment of individuals by segregating members of society into different tiers of infection risk and contagiousness, for example:
    • Members of groups who live with systemic discrimination and marginalization may face more barriers to accessing particular areas of society or activities if they are not certified as vaccinated
    • Differences in exposure, access to health care and vaccination certification may lead to some groups having higher or lower proportions of vaccine-certified people
  • If the application of vaccination certification should only be used with existing precautions and should not prevent non-vaccine certified people from accessing areas or activities, e.g. people who have not received a vaccination certificate should not be prevented from travelling but may be required to take a test/quarantine on arrival as per the existing precautionary measure
  • Whether vaccinations certifications should:
    • Impact a person's ability to exercise fundamental rights such as voting, accessing and social care or education
    • Cause an increase in cost or burden for vaccine-certified individuals, e.g. frontline healthcare workers who are vaccination certified should not be expected to manage more work
  • If the perceived benefits of vaccine certifications could increase the risk of people increasing their exposure to intentionally become infected and receive a certificate, which poses risks to an increase in community spread and could potentially cause harm to others
  • The perceived value of vaccine certificates and counterfeit market activity/certificates
  • How to mitigate implementation risks, e.g. certification being managed by certified bodies, results being processed and confirmed by licensed laboratories, and certificates being issued by health authorities
  • To protect personal data and minimize breaches of confidentiality, legal and regulatory measures should be put in place to limit the access to data by governmental authorities
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