Sunday, June 26

Public Health experts question the European vaccination certificate


Image from last week of Alicante airport, with very few flights

Image from last week of Alicante airport, with very few flights

The Spanish Society of Public Health and Health Administration (SESPAS), of which the Professor at the University of Elche Ildefonso Hernández, questions the introduction of certificate of vaccination against coronavirus until “There is more scientific evidence on the reduced transmissibility of the vaccinated and on a sufficiently long period of validity of immunity” e iWe instruct the Government not to support it before the European institutions. Through a statement, this scientific society made up of experts in Public Health asks the health authorities to wait until “universal access to vaccines is facilitated” Y “An adequate framework of guarantees is established that allows respect for the principle of equity and the fundamental rights of people.” “The urgent and priority is to extend vaccination to the largest number of people to achieve the desired group immunity,” they insist.

The European Union is preparing a draft regulation for the implantation of a European vaccination passport (or digital green certificate), whose main purpose would be to promote the free movement of community citizens throughout the territory of the European Union, thus encouraging tourism and facilitating the reactivation of economic activity.

The document would collect health data on people that could be read in other states. It would be an interoperable document that would have a Barcode that would allow to verify the authenticity, validity and integrity of the certificate. I would collect three different types of certificates: on vaccination, on absence of active infection (PCR or antigen test with negative result recently) or on the existence of antibodies against SARS-Cov-2 for having already passed the disease.

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In principle, the certificate not intended to be configured as a condition for exercising freedom of movement. It would simply prevent states from requiring to submit to a mandatory test for the detection of the virus or quarantine requirements upon arrival at the destination, collects Europa Press.

The experts. however, they argue that “from a scientific point of view, the usefulness of the vaccine to reduce transmission is not yet entirely clear and, in any case, could be limited.” They also allege that “It can raise equity issues.”

The distribution established in the countries of the European Union and, specifically in Spain, implies unequal access, conditioned by the strategies established by the health authorities, which may vary between countries or regions, and sometimes due to factors beyond them. Consequently, these vaccination passports can become a factor of inequity and social injustice and this implies new dilemmas from an ethical and legal point of view “, they justify.

In view of everything described, SESPAS urges the public authorities not to support the introduction of this document before the European institutions until there is more scientific evidence on the reduced transmissibility of those vaccinated and on a sufficiently long period of validity of the immunity; universal access to vaccines is facilitated and an adequate framework of guarantees is established that allows respect for the principle of equity and the fundamental rights of people. “The urgent and priority is to extend vaccination to the largest number of people to achieve the desired group immunity,” they point out.

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