There are growing protests about the use of mandatory vaccine passports, with the UK’s Premier League football clubs the latest to come out and say current government plans, which would see all players and spectators need to be able to prove they are double-jabbed from October 1, are unworkable.
And it is clear to see why: nobody wants to be forced into having a vaccine, and there is a general dislike about people being pushed down just one medical route when other options exist.
The need to be able to check Covid status in the middle of a pandemic as society begins to open back up is obvious – but leading clubs such as Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur are pushing for an alternative, a type of health pass where fans are able to show proof of EITHER being double jabbed OR a recent negative test.
This meets the need to ensure mass gatherings, or busy offices, to give another example, are as Covid-free as possible, while allowing individuals to make their own health and vaccination choices.
Eminently sensible, the problem is that the terms vaccine passports and health passes are being used interchangeably, when they are simply not the same.
A vaccine passport simply does what it says on the tin – provides proof of vaccination, in the same way a national passport provides proof of residency.
Health passes, though, are much more flexible as they provide multiple options. They can still be used as proof of vaccination, if the user chooses to share their health information in this way.
But, importantly and in a crucial difference from vaccine passports, they can also be used to securely display a test result, such as a negative PCR or rapid antigen test (also known as lateral flow tests) today. Additionally, they are also future-proofed for options such as rapid antibody test results when those come into play on a large scale.
And these health passes are not some future theory, they are already here and working.
Consentry, for example, is the ultimate health pass, because it is an end-to-end solution which enables the user to take a cheap, scalable and timely rapid antigen test at home, completely securely, and get the results delivered digitally.
It is a true solution to all needs, and is deliberately and specifically not a vaccine passport, giving it vastly wider use potential.
We are living in a new world, amid a pandemic, where some evidence of being well – or at least not infectious – when we mingle with others is likely to become more of the norm. How we do this matters, and using health passes instead of vaccine passports enables individual autonomy as well as choice, complete with full privacy and security
Using health passes, rather than vaccine passports, is simply the best way forward.