The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, has stated this Thursday that the European partners will launch a coronavirus vaccination passport “for the summer” that could make travel within the European Union (EU) “possible”.
In the press conference that she offered at the end of the virtual summit of EU leaders, the Chancellor explained that all the partners agreed on the development of a system that allows make the different passports compatible of vaccination that the 27 are developing.
The European Commission (EC) now has three months to define the technical conditions of this system and leaders trust that it will be operational “in the coming months” and “for the summer”, according to the chancellor.
This initiative could serve to restart international movements within the EU and possibly also with some “third countries”, said the Chancellor, who at no time has he talked about tourism.
Merkel has recognized that while technical issues are resolved, it will also be necessary to face the political details of these passports of vaccination, still pending.
Thus, he stressed, for example, that in order for immunized people to be allowed to travel first, for fairness, they must have been able to offer the possibility of being vaccinated to all people. “Any other option would be an injustice,” he considered.
Likewise, he stressed that not only people with a vaccination passport will be able to travel and that this system would become a “complementary” option more to allow safe international travel while controlling the spread of the coronavirus.
At present, the main use is made of test PCR, quarantines of at least five days and digital records to enable monitoring in most EU countries.
Better to talk about “certified”
The Spanish Secretary of State for Health, Silvia Calzón, has stated that it is “more appropriate” to refer to covid-19 vaccine “certificates” than to “passports” and has recognized the existing debate in the European Union about their use for travel, compared to the consensus on their “clinical” utility .
In a similar vein, the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, has explained that there are still “open questions” of a political nature about the measure, and “the first, of course, is what it will be used for.” To these must be added a series of “scientific” uncertainties, including whether vaccines effectively serve to stop the transmission of the virus.
French President Emmanuel Macron, has requested this Thursday “unity and coordination” in the European Union to agree on the implementation of a common vaccination certificate, since that document “cannot give specific rights” to vaccinated people.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.