• Sunday, Apr 18, 2021
  • Last Update : 08:16 am

Bangladesh to issue vaccine passports

  • Published at 11:38 pm April 8th, 2021
covid-19 vaccine
File photo of a senior citizen getting his first shot of Covid-19 vaccine in Dhaka Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

The vaccine passport will allow people to travel abroad and attend important events in the country

Bangladesh has been considering issuing vaccine passports to recipients of both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine. 

State Minister for ICT Division Zunaid Ahmed Palak revealed the information after taking his second jab of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine at BSMMU centre on Thursday.

The minister said: “We will provide vaccine passports to those who complete both doses. And this time there will be no problem like the Surokkha app.”

Sources at the ICT division said a presentation over the digital documentation of the vaccine certificate was given to the state minister on Wednesday and the division and health directorate would work closely to formulate an acceptable digitized document.

Vaccine passport

The vaccine passport is a document containing information about an individual’s vaccination certificate which in turn could be used for international travel.

This might be in the form of a paper attached with a passport or a separate paper with QR code or any other form of code that will contain information, such as whether the individual was infected by the deadly virus, if infected then date of recovery, date of issue of negative certificate or the date of receiving vaccine.

The passport will allow travellers to visit a country without having a negative certificate and they would not have to maintain a 14-day quarantine period following travel as well.

However, as only some governments are accepting travellers with proof of vaccination, vaccine passport apps, this is not an option for everyone. Only some travellers can use vaccine passports at present.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is also working on a smart vaccination certificate, which will provide guidelines and standards for digital vaccine passports.

How it will be used in Bangladesh   

According to sources at the ICT division, in Bangladesh, the authorities are of the opinion that the passport can be used at international food chains in the country, recreational centres and airports.

Besides, people carrying the passport would get priority in accessing entry to international cultural festivals, tournaments or any other important programs or conferences.

For example, Israel, which has provided double doses to the highest segment of its population, launched an app “green passport” that gives holders access to public places.

ICT division officials said that with the virus putting international travelling on hold, the authorities have started to work on digitization of the certificate to reinstate travelling again.

ICT Division programmer Harun-or-Rashid said the authorities were still working on the type of vaccine passport that could come into shape.

It might be a paper with digital scanning facilities or would be like a passport book or might be attached as a paper in the passport, he added.

In many countries, digital health passport apps, like CommonPass, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Travel Pass, and Health Pass by CLEAR, that store and display proof of vaccination, have already emerged.

The IATA’s Health Pass is in trial use on several international air carriers, including Emirates, Copa, Malaysian Airlines and Singapore Airlines, according to reports. 

So far, 23 airlines have signed up for the pass.

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