WHO panel gives thumbs down to requiring vaccination proof for travel

A WHO panel came out against any requirements that travelers show proof of their COVID-19 vaccination in order to enter certain countries, highlighting its concern that such measures would aggravate inequities.

The Emergency Committee released a statement on Monday detailing its members’ advice to the director-general, including to avoid any mandate for people to prove they took the vaccine before traveling into countries.

Inequity concerns: The panel specifically cited unease about inequity as the vaccine remains less available in certain areas and nations, especially countries that could not afford to collect a large stockpile of vaccine doses, giving their residents a disadvantage.

“Do not require proof of vaccination as a condition of entry, given the limited (although growing) evidence about the performance of vaccines in reducing transmission and the persistent inequity in the global vaccine distribution,” the committee’s recommendation reads.

“States Parties are strongly encouraged to acknowledge the potential for requirements of proof of vaccination to deepen inequities and promote differential freedom of movement.”

Follows:  Mike Ryan, the executive director of the WHO’s emergencies program, said earlier this month that WHO did not support “vaccine passports” that serve as proof of vaccination.