By Rubina Aman
COVID-19 has reminded us that we live in a shared world—we should take care of each other if we all need to stay healthy! This pandemic has unroofed a dichotomy between responsible behaviour for our own and others’ personal health.
COVID-19 vaccines will eventually help tourism to restart, but one can expect a trip full of immunity passports, mouthwash tests and wary travellers!Everyone wants to go on vacation again, but the priority for vaccine developers is preventing illness and death.
Getting the world immunized won’t be quick or easy. Over the coming months, we’ll learn how equitable global vaccine distribution really is. Until vaccines are readily available, COVID-19 tests will remain a necessary part of travel.
Several “vaccine passports” are being marketed, but Common Pass looks the most promising. A collaboration between the World Economic Forum and non-profit, The Commons Project, Common Pass is a secured way to validate individuals’ COVID test and vaccination credentials, piloted internationally.
Safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines denote that life, including travel, are likely to get back to normal one day. Assuming that vaccines also protect against most virus mutations and spreading the virus, COVID restrictions should end once immunity is achieved. Until then, the privilege to travel somewhere should not come at the expense of the residents of those destinations.
At the same time, states and counties are planning their vaccine allotment plans around the population and needs of their jurisdictions and a mad scramble for vaccines makes it more difficult for public health and government officials to manage a streamlined rollout.
Another problem is who’s actually traveling, which might worsen longstanding health inequities. One major concern with people crossing state lines or even within states is that the individuals who can travel further are likely more advantaged, in terms of health conditions.