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The EU aims to launch a digital vaccine certificate by the summer to allow those vaccinated against Covid-19 or those who have tested negative or recently recovered from the virus to freely travel within the EU.
The Digital Green Certificate has been proposed to foster travel between EU member states as the summer tourism season approaches. The certificate will contain such information as name, date of birth, a unique identifier name, and information on COVID-19 vaccination, recovery, and test results. These certificates will also be granted for those who have recovered from the virus, so non-vaccinated citizens will also be able to travel without presenting a negative test result.
There have been concerns over the fairness of issuing immunization certificates as many people might not be offered the vaccine any time soon. According to Reuters, Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Latvia, and Slovenia raised concerns on Wednesday over the “possible gaps in the vaccine distribution between member states.” Critics have also argued over the ethical implications of vaccine certificates, given that vaccination is voluntary. Tourism-reliant nations, including Greece, have spoken for vaccine passports to facilitate travel.
The vaccines should be approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). These currently include drugs developed by Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Oxford-AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson, but not Russia’s Sputnik V or China’s Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccines.