The Law, Policy & Ethics of Vaccine Passports
Professor Colleen Flood
1 July 2021
- Public authorities and private entities may soon require people to provide proof of immunization to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in certain contexts as an adjunct to efforts to safely re-open society.
- International bodies have explored potential standards and immunization passport solutions, with an initial focus on international travel.
- In Canada, provincial and territorial governments should ensure their ability to issue a crytographically signed digital vaccination record from a government repository to operationalize immunization passports that meet national standards and are aligned with international initiatives.
- If governments do not implement immunization passports, private corporations (eg airlines and large event venues) may develop their own requirements and systems, potentially leading to problems related to equity, privacy and coercion.
- Limited access to vaccines, technology and other resources may prevent people from using immunization passports.
Colleen holds the University Research Chair in Health Law & Policy at the University of Ottawa. She is also the Director of the University’s Centre for Health Law, Policy and Ethics. On top of that, she is a Kiwi and has found sanctuary from the pandemic here in New Zealand over the last couple of months.