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WHO advises against mandating COVID-19 vaccine to travel

WHO advises against mandating COVID-19 vaccine to travel

An Air Force member takes a selfie while getting her shot of the Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19 at a military base in Lima, Peru, Monday, March 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)

GENEVA: A senior World Health Organization (WHO) official on Monday (Mar 8) said that so-called “vaccine passports” for COVID-19 should not be used for international travel because of numerous concerns.

These include ethical considerations that coronavirus vaccines are not easily available globally, said WHO emergencies chief Dr Michael Ryan at a press briefing.

There are “real practical and ethical considerations” for countries considering using vaccine certification as a condition for travel, and the UN health agency advises against it for now, said Ryan.

“Vaccination is just not available enough around the world and is not available certainly on an equitable basis,” he added.

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WHO has previously noted that it is still unknown how long immunity lasts from the numerous licensed COVID-19 vaccines and that data are still being collected.

Ryan also noted the strategy might be unfair to people who cannot be vaccinated for certain reasons and that requiring vaccine passports might allow “inequity and unfairness (to) be further branded into the system”.

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Source: AP/jt


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