Sunday, February 28, 2021

Denmark and Sweden introduce corona passports


Foto: shutterstock/Ivan Marc

Sweden has so far been known for its special way of fighting the coronavirus pandemic. Instead of closing, as was the case in other European countries, the Swedish authorities first counted on the so-called by herd immunity and later by common sense. And because of such a policy, the authorities have faced numerous criticisms. So far, according to the data of the American Johns Hopkins University, 600,000 citizens have been infected with the coronavirus in Sweden.

Sweden, now with neighboring Denmark, has also decided on a different solution from all the others and plans to introduce a digital “crown-passport” by the summer.

Who is the “crown-passport” for?

That digital confirmation should primarily serve as evidence of coronavirus vaccination, explains Anders Igeman. At the same time, it should enable visits to cultural or sports events, as well as enable free travel. The infrastructure to control that document should be ready by June 1st.

Even before Sweden, Denmark presented this type of document, which should, above all, make travel easier for business people. The Crown Pass in Denmark should be either in the form of an entry on the website of the Danish Ministry of Health or in the smartphone of its owner.

Where are Denmark and Sweden when it comes to vaccination?

But currently in both Scandinavian countries only a small number of citizens can benefit from the digital corona-pass project. According to the data of the online platform “Our World in Data” in Denmark, it is until 14.2. only 6.87 percent of citizens were vaccinated, in Sweden 4.53. The situation in these two countries is therefore similar to that in Germany, where only 4.95 percent of the population has received the vaccine so far. It is similar in the rest of the European Union. By comparison, 74 percent of Israel’s population has already been vaccinated.

The question is also how many Swedish citizens will be vaccinated. The country is considered to be particularly skeptical about vaccination since the mass health problems of children appeared ten years ago, after being vaccinated against swine flu. Hundreds of vaccinated people then received attacks of narcolepsy, which caused one of the biggest medical scandals in the country’s history. And the Swedes still remember that well.

Foto: shutterstock/kavalenkava

Foto: shutterstock/kavalenkava

Who could be denied?

With a corona passport, vaccinated people could have benefits. What sounds positive at first, at the same time hides the fact that someone could be deprived at the same time. Critics also saw in the privileges a kind of compulsion to vaccinate, on a small scale. Politicians vigorously reject such claims. According to the German Minister of the Interior, that could further divide the country. But it also jeopardizes confidence in a policy that has so far refused to introduce compulsory vaccination.

Critics also believe that the benefits for those with a “crown-passport” would be unfair, as long as there are not enough vaccines to vaccinate everyone who wants to. In addition, many cannot be vaccinated for health reasons, for example due to allergies or pregnancy. All of them would thus, through no fault of their own, be excluded as far as privilege is concerned.

What are other European countries planning?

Some other countries, such as Greece, Cyprus or Spain, are also seeking the introduction of a kind of “crown-passport” that would allow vaccinated people to travel freely. That would also come in handy for the tourism industry in those countries. In Poland and Romania, the vaccinated have already been released from quarantine after entering the country.

A kind of vaccination pass is being loudly considered at the EU level as well. However, the European Commissioner for Health, Stella Kiriakides, said that she did not want a “crown-passport” but a vaccination certificate that would contain all the information about the vaccine, unlike other solutions that contain only information that the person has been vaccinated.

Kyriakides believes that science would benefit from this information.

“That would give us an insight into the development of the virus and possible side effects that appear with delay,” says the commissioner. In addition, the certificate would facilitate medical treatment in other EU countries.

Will Germany also introduce a “crown-passport”?

The introduction of some kind of pass for vaccinated people is currently unlikely in Germany. Recently, the German Ethics Council has clearly spoken out against such a mechanism that would give vaccinated people privileges. The main argument is that at the moment it is not yet possible to know whether the vaccinated can still transmit the virus or not. Wearing a mask and keeping a distance is still an obligation for everyone. If, in the meantime, it is scientifically proven that vaccinated people cannot transmit the virus, the Council is ready to reconsider its decision.





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