Broad support for the use of the COVID-19 vaccine certificate in international travel

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Broad support for the use of the COVID-19 vaccine certificate in international travel
Wed April 28, 2021

A new global study by the World Economic Forum reveals massive support for this type of initiative. Experts call for regulations to be adapted and to ensure that two classes of world citizens are not created

A new World Economic Forum/IPSOS survey found three in four people support COVID-19 vaccine certificates for travelers entering their country. Two in three think these certificates would also be effective in making large events safe and expect they will be widely used.

Arnaud Bernaert, Head of Health and Healthcare at the World Economic Forum said: “Most public opinions in high- and middle-income countries are looking at vaccination certificates as indispensable tools for travel to resume and large public venues to reopen. Outdated international health regulations will need to adjust.”

Some 78% agree that travelers entering their country should be required to have a vaccine certificate; a majority agree in each of the 28 countries surveyed – from 92% in Malaysia and 90% in Peru to 52% in Hungary and 58% in Poland.

Support drops when it comes to accessing parts of daily life only recently re-opening. Only half agree vaccine certificates should be required for shops, restaurants, and offices. Counties showing wide support for these kinds of measures are mostly in South Asia and Latin America.

Globally, 55% support these kinds of requirements – ranging from strong support in India (78% agree), Chile (75%), and Peru (70%) to widespread opposition in Russia (72% disagree), Hungary (59%), Poland (55%), the United States (52%), and Belgium (52%).

Ensuring certificates do not create two classes of global citizens

“Three conditions will need to be met for such certificates to not do more harm than good,” said Bernaert. “First, certificates will need to leverage technologies securing the authentication of vaccine credentials . Second, privacy concerns need to be addressed and only trusted verifiers provided access. Third, and above all, vaccines certificates should be made available to everyone that wishes to use one - meaning that universal access to vaccines in low-income countries should be pursued to not create two classes of global citizens.”

Trust for governments over businesses

Overall, people are more comfortable with their employer accessing their personal health data and vaccination records than their government.

India (78%), China (77%), and Saudi Arabia (74%) show the highest levels of comfort with allowing employers access to personal health data while France (27%) and the Netherlands (29%) show the lowest.

Only 40% say they are comfortable allowing private companies, such as technology companies, airlines or hotels, to access their health data and vaccination record while 53% are not; the only countries where at least 50% are comfortable with it are India (68%), China (67%), Saudi Arabia (66%), Malaysia (57%), and Turkey (50%) while discomfort is most prevalent in the Netherlands (77%) and France (74%).


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