Denmark hopes its new ‘digital corona passport’ will help restart travel
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Denmark could be one of the first countries to release a digital vaccination card, commonly referred to as an “immunity passport.”
This week, the Danish government shared plans to work with companies to develop a digital tool that could be used to identify people who have already had the COVID-19 vaccine. As the AP reports, Finance Minister Morten Bødskov told reporters that “in three, four months, a digital corona passport will be ready for use in, for example, business travel.”
According to AP, Bødskov described it as a “extra passport that you will be able to have on your mobile phone that documents that you have been vaccinated.”
The idea of travelers carrying an immunity passport has been around since the early days of the pandemic — Delta CEO Ed Bastian discussed the concept as early as April 2020, just a few weeks after global travel came to a grinding halt.
While vaccinated Americans are currently presented with a record card, pictured above, it’s a simple piece of paper, making it incredibly difficult to authenticate. While travelers have long been able to meet entry requirements in certain countries by presenting a similar “yellow card,” as proof of a yellow fever vaccination, that may not be an ideal solution during the pandemic.
Fraud is a much bigger concern with COVID-19, since the virus is incredibly contagious. Yellow fever only presents a risk to an individual traveling without that vaccine — there’s a very low risk of spreading it to someone else, since it can generally only be transmitted through blood.
Given how easy it is to duplicate the CDC-issued “Vaccination Record Card” currently issued in the United States, we’ll likely need a solution akin to Denmark’s — a government-issued digital ID, or a physical card with a QR code that can be used to verify an active vaccination in a database, since a handwritten card is far too easy to “hack.”
Featured photo by CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images.
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