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Canada discusses vaccine passports, WHO advises against

Last Updated Mar 9, 2021 at 8:11 am MDT

Health Minister Patty Hajdu arrives at a COVID-19 press conference in Ottawa on Friday, Dec. 11, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/David Kawai

CALGARY (660 NEWS) – Several countries, including Canada, are looking at the idea of introducing a vaccine passport.

The concept has been circulating for months as a way to help reduce travel restrictions along with the spread of the novel coronavirus.

While Canada’s Health Minister and other G7 leaders are keen on the idea, the World Health Organization (WHO) thinks otherwise.

The global health body believes there are ethical issues with a vaccine passport including the reality that the shots might not be easily accessible globally, that it’s not available equitably and would discriminate against people who are in that situation.

WATCH: Will vaccine passports be required for travel?

Several airlines, many in the United States, are lobbying for a vaccine passport believing it would likely reduce international travel restrictions and revive the struggling industry.

In January, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ruled out a national vaccine passport for Canada worrying it would lead to divisions between provinces.

“There are a broad range of reasons why someone might not get vaccinated and I’m worried about creating knock-on, undesirable effects in our community,” Trudeau told Reuters.

“The indications that the vast majority of Canadians are looking to get vaccinated will get us to a good place without having to take more extreme measures that could have real divisive impacts on community and country.”

Some countries already require proof of vaccines against other diseases like yellow fever and malaria before you’re permitted inside.

 

-With files from Cormac MacSweeney, NEWS 1130