Immunity Passports

Immunity Passports: A Silver Bullet or a Security Blanket?

(Source) As COVID-19 infection rates remain high, many wonder when and how life will return to normal. The policies currently in place to limit the number of new infections have primarily focused on restricting movement and access to public spaces. While this has helped limit the spread of the virus, it has also resulted in one of the largest global economic recessions in decades. The combination of unemployment, fragmented trade streams, a reduction in spending, and a reduction in local and international travel has led experts to predict a global economic contraction of GDP of just over 5%.  Leaders in several countries, most notably Chile, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany, have considered the creation of immunity passports as a potential strategy to safely reopen and stabilize their nation’s economies. An immunity passport is an official document that would certify when an individual has acquired immunity, either through infection and subsequent recovery or by vaccination, to COVID-19. While immunity passports could provide national and local governments with a way to return to pre-pandemic life, several practical, legal, and ethical considerations raise questions about the efficacy of such a program. If governments hope that immunity passports will effectively limit [read more]