WHO does not endorse vaccination passports for now: spokesperson

GENEVA (Reuters) – The World Health Organization does not endorse the requirement for vaccination passports for travel due to uncertainty about whether inoculation prevents transmission of the virus, as well as equity concerns, a spokeswoman said on Tuesday.

“We as WHO are saying at this stage that we would not like to see the vaccination passport as a requirement for entry or exit because we are not sure at this stage that the vaccine will prevent transmission,” said the WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris.

“There are all these other questions, in addition to the issue of discrimination against people who cannot get the vaccine for one reason or another,” he told a UN news conference.

The WHO now expects to review China’s Sinopharm and Sinovac COVID-19 vaccines for a possible emergency use list by the end of April, Harris said.

“It will not arrive as quickly as we expected because we need more data,” he said, declining to provide more information, citing confidentiality.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus last month called on countries with excess vaccine supplies to urgently donate 10 million doses to COVAX facilities that it runs with the GAVI vaccine alliance. India’s export restrictions left the vaccine exchange program without supplies of the AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India.

Harris said he had no update on any country moving forward, adding: “We are looking for more vaccines.”


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