Covid-19 vaccine: what is the "green passport" proposed in France?

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The governments of the world are evaluating how to encourage voluntary vaccination against covid-19 through different strategies that are in the sights of the whole world. In France, for example, deputies propose the creation of a "green passport" to encourage the French to get vaccinated against the coronavirus. This document would be given to each vaccinated person to "find a normal life." What is it about?

On Wednesday, December 16, it was announced that the vaccination campaign against Covid-19 could begin during the last week of December for the so-called "fragile" French. During the presentation of the governments vaccine strategy to the National Assembly, Valérie Six, a member of the Union of Independent Democrats (UDI) group, suggested the idea of a "green passport."

This device would consist of issuing a document to vaccinated people so that they can "find a normal life" by going to restaurants or cultural places. "Our group considers that such a measure would probably encourage the French to get vaccinated and raise awareness that vaccination protects themselves, but also others," said the elected UDI.

How would the "green passport" work?

During her speech, Valérie Six cited as notable the example of Israel, which wishes to establish the "green passport" system. The vaccination campaign is due to begin on December 23 in that country and the green passports would be issued two weeks after the injection of the second dose of the vaccine. Therefore, they should appear during the month of January. Asked by the Jerusalem Post, Yuli Edelstein, the Israeli Health Minister, however admitted that "it will be a difficult logistical operation" to set up.

The French remain very cautious about the coronavirus vaccine. According to an IFOP survey, conducted for the JDD in late November, 59% of citizens said they would not get vaccinated. For UDI elected officials, the "green passport" could be a solution. "The challenge is to make people understand that getting vaccinated is an act of citizenship, which will allow us to collectively find a social life, a cultural life," said Valérie Six.

Green passport: challenges for privacy and data protection?

According to a report from the University of Exeter (UK), these passports could help control the Covid-19 pandemic, but raise questions in particular about the protection of private data and human rights.

It is believed that passports could record confidential medical information and create new distinctions between people based on their health. In addition, Ana Beduschi, lead author of the report and a law professor, pointed out that they could be used to determine the degree of freedoms and rights that can be had. According to the specialist, passports could also interfere with respect for privacy, equality and non-discrimination.

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