The WHO emergency committee on COVID-19 said Monday it was not in favor of a compulsory vaccination passport for international travelers, even if the practice seems to be attractive.
The seventh meeting of the World Health Organization (WHO) emergency committee on COVID-19 was held on April 15, but its findings were not released until Monday.
In a statement, the experts responsible for guiding the head of the WHO recommend to
not require proof of vaccination as a condition of entry for international travelers
given the limited (although growing) evidence regarding vaccine performance in reducing transmission and given the persistent inequality in global vaccine distribution.
States Parties are strongly encouraged to recognize that the requirement of proof of vaccination may exacerbate inequalities and promote differentiated freedom of movement.
This call comes as many countries are considering the implementation of a health passport for travel, but also for other activities, including sports, even if this idea arouses strong criticism and concerns about possible discrimination and the protection of private data.
The European Union, in particular, has presented its project on this subject, China has already launched its version, while the airlines are also working on it.
In the United States, the White House said in early April that it would not impose a health passport, while stressing that the private sector was free to move towards this idea.
During their meeting, the experts of the WHO emergency committee looked at other subjects, and in particular asked the WHO to
accelerate the evaluation of candidate vaccines against COVID-19.
The WHO has so far only approved the vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech, that of AstraZeneca-Oxford manufactured in India and South Korea and that of Johnson & Johnson.
The pandemic has killed more than 3 million people worldwide, and its origin remains unknown, although transmission of the virus to humans via an animal infected with a bat is the hypothesis favored by international experts appointed by WHO.
The WHO emergency committee calls on the organization to quickly continue research into the origin of the virus, and calls for the regulation of markets selling animals to be strengthened.
They also call for the sale and import of wild animals that pose a high risk of transmitting new pathogens to humans be discouraged.
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