Q&A 'Immunity Passports'

  • 4 years ago
An immunity passport, also known as an immunity certificate, recovery certificate or release certificate, is a document attesting that its bearer is immune to a contagious disease.[1] The concept has drawn much attention during the COVID-19 pandemic as a potential way to contain the pandemic and permit faster economy recovery.[2]
#Immunity certificates are a legal document granted by a testing authority following a serology test demonstrating that the bearer has antibodies making them immune to a disease. These antibodies can either be produced naturally by recovering from the disease, or triggered through vaccination. Such certificates are practical only if all of the following conditions can be satisfied:

As of May 2020, it remains unclear if any of these conditions have been met for COVID-19.[3] On April 24, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) stated that "At this point in the pandemic, there is not enough evidence about the effectiveness of antibody-mediated immunity to guarantee the accuracy of an 'immunity passport'".[1]

In 1959, the WHO created the International Certificate of Vaccination (Carte Jaune) as a certificate of vaccination, particularly for yellow fever.[5] However, these are certificates of vaccination, not immunity.

An early advocate of immunity passports during the COVID-19 pandemic was Sam Rainsy, the Cambodian opposition leader. In exile and under confinement in Paris, he proposed immunity passports as a way to help restart the economy in a series of articles which he began in March 2020 and published in The Geopolitics and The Brussels Times.[6] [7] [8] The proposals were also published in French.[9]

In May 2020, Chile started issuing "release certificates" to patients who have recovered from COVID-19, but "the documents will not yet certify immunity".[10] Many governments including Finland,[11] #Germany,[12] the United Kingdom,[13] and the United States[14] have expressed interest in the concept.
Ethical concerns