Vaccine passport: throughout the world, three people out of four want it

Vaccine passport: throughout the world, three people out of four want it

30 April 2021 Off By Oscar Giacomin

Now that vaccination campaigns against Covid-19 are finally making progress, summer vacations are approaching and there is a need to relaunch the suffering tourist industry as soon as possible in each country, there is a theme that has become extremely relevant: vaccine passports, i.e. health certificates (be they printed or digital) to prove that a person has reached immunization. This solution could allow people to travel abroad again in relative safety; inside each country it could also be used as an access pass for concerts and shows, or even for restaurants and the like.

Countries around the world are not presenting a unified front on the subject: China and Israel, for instance, have already had a vaccine pass for months; the USA are talking about it and the UK is working toward creating one, as is the European Union, where the pass will be launched in June (it will be called ‘EU COVID-19 certificate’), while some member states have already created a national pass, or are close to that.

But what do citizens think about it? A recent Ipsos survey for the World Economic Forum conducted across 28 countries between March 26 and April 9 finds that, on average, 3 in 4 adults agree that COVID-19 vaccine passports should be required of travelers to enter their country (78%) and that they would be effective in making travel and large events safe (73%). Figures vary, of course, from one country to another: the most favorable include Malaysia (92% and 92%), Peru (90% and 82%), Argentina (88% and 84%) and China (83% and 84%), while at the opposite end of the spectrum are Hungary (52% and 52%), Russia (59% and 53%) and Poland (58% and 57%).

While the world, by a large majority, says yes to a vaccine passport for traveling and major events, only about half (55%) agree they should be required for shops, restaurants and offices. Once again, views vary widely across countries: from strong support in India (78% agree), Chile (75%) and Peru (70%) to widespread opposition in Russia (72% disagree), Hungary (59%), Poland (55%), the United States (52%) and Belgium (52%).

One of the most sensitive issues regarding vaccine passports, and one of the most discussed, concerns the processing of personal data (and these are sensitive data, because they are health data) and the privacy risks it creates for the people. This was another subject that Ipsos included in its survey, and the results revealed that over 8 in 10 (84%) adults on average say they are comfortable allowing their doctor access to their personal health data and vaccination records. However, just over half among those who are employed say so about their employer, half of all adults say so about their country’s government, and only 4 in 10 adults about private companies. 

Overall, older people tend to be more comfortable letting their doctor have access to their health and vaccination info than are younger people. In contrast, younger people tend to be more comfortable allowing their employer, their government and private companies to access their personal health information. 

Oscar Giacomin  / General Manager, Facto Edizioni

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