A pilot project led by Estonia uses technology that would protect privacy while accelerating our return to normal life, writes Marcus Kolga in Maclean’s. Below is an excerpt from the article, which can be read in full here.
By Marcus Kolga, March 18, 2021
The need for vaccination passports for future international travel will soon become an inescapable reality. If Canadians wish to remain internationally mobile, we must proactively seek a solution that integrates international standards and ensures the privacy of Canadian data.
Vaccination certification is the next challenge on the road to global pandemic recovery. The Trudeau government must ensure Canadians are prepared for that eventuality. Prime Minister Trudeau’s concern about the “fairness” of vaccine passports, in that they could create classes of citizens with different freedoms, is understandable. His government will need to weigh the advice of health experts against the broader economic needs and those of Canadian in general.
But as a practical matter, hesitating and delaying the need for some form of standardized vaccination certification will cost Canadians in the long run—both in economic terms and in mobility. The faster we can open our borders safely, the quicker we can begin our return to normalcy.
We should look to European e-governance leader, Estonia, whose all-female led government has already developed a secure solution in partnership with vaccine producers and the World Health Organization.
International travellers will require proof of vaccination as early as this spring. British Airways announced this week that it will launch a digital vaccine passport on May 17, when the U.K. hopes to reopen to international travel.
Proof of vaccination could conceivably be required for attendance at major sporting events and concerts in the U.S. The CDC recently announced new guidance that allows individuals who have been vaccinated to “interact with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing.”