Vaccination Passports; Yes, or No?

You have probably heard the term ‘vaccination passport’. It has been floating around since the government roadmap out of lockdown was announced. More notably, there have been fervent arguments for and against them. Those in favour revolve around restricting the spread of Covid. Those arguments against are based on freedom and anti-discrimination laws.

Understandably, many people will have developed strong views of their own. But whichever side of the debate you sit on, you may be surprised to learn that actions have already been set in motion. That is to say, a form of vaccine pass already exists and is in use.

Currently, there are two types of vaccine passport.

Vaccination passport type one: NHS Covid Pass.

The app is simply called ‘NHS App’. This is a separate and distinct app from the NHSCOVID-19 app. Therefore, you will have to download it separately if you want to use it.

From the NHS app, you will be able to view a limited version of your medical records. This will include medication and vaccination history. Your Covid vaccine history will be recorded in here and generate a QR code which can be scanned. You can also download or print the QR code. This is available 2 weeks after your 2nd vaccine.

Although, it is worth noting the data privacy around this app. You will be required to submit photo ID to the app to verify your identity. You can also opt out of the NHS using your medical records for research but this does not opt you out of the data privacy policy of the app itself.

For those who do not have access to apps or the internet, a paper version can be requested by calling 119 https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/covid-pass/

The pass has, supposedly, been introduced on a trial basis.

Vaccination passport type two: Negative PCR Test or rapid lateral flow test.

This is not so much as passport or pass. It is a temporary confirmation via negative test result that you are Covid free. Depending on your vaccination status, you may be required to do a test for each event you wish to attend or each time you need to travel. Quarantine restrictions may also apply depending on your situation and reason for travel. It is always advisable to thoroughly check the government guidance.

Will this be permanent?

It is difficult to say. It could certainly last while we remain in the pandemic phase of Covid. From there, the Government will need to take care that a discriminatory system does not become entrenched in a post-pandemic world. Since the app contract was awarded to a private company known for it’s successful roll out of national ID card schemes in Albania, Ghana and Malaysia, accusations are starting to fly. There is suspicion that government are attempting to introduce ID cards in via the backdoor.