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Covid-19: Estonia tests vaccination passports for the whole world


The Baltic country is conducting its experiments with the World Health Organization (WHO).

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The implementation of health passports to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic is not unanimous, but such documents are already on the way. Estonia is trying to develop, with the World Health Organization (WHO), digital and globally recognized vaccine passports.

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The problem is whether anyone who verifies such a certificate can “trust the source” of the document, underlines Marten Kaevats, adviser to the Estonian government on technological issues. “The solution will have to work in Eritrea as well as in Singapore”, he specifies. Estonia already has its own electronic health record system containing information on vaccines, but most countries in the world do not have one and there are no methods of mutual recognition of such documents. national.

This project is one of many digital vaccine passport initiatives launched around the world. WHO does not currently recommend vaccination passports for travel, not considering them as a sufficient guarantee of protection against transmission.

However, digital certificates are appealing to affected industries such as airlines. Emirates and Etihad last month announced tests on an app to check vaccinations before boarding.

An agreement between WHO and Estonia is to develop a “yellow chip card” – a digital version of an existing paper document system to prove vaccination against yellow fever.

According to Marten Kaevats, who also advises the WHO on digital health issues, it is “impossible” to create a global digital ID system in the coming months, and a mix of paper and electronic certificates seems more likely. The work focuses on the development of global principles with a view to developing “a single common solution to verify the existence of care providers” who issue the certificates in question.

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