Vaccinated Poles to receive special ‘passports’

Man is being vaccinated during COVID-19 vaccination program with the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine at the Medical University of Warsaw, Poland - December 29, 2020. [Shutterstock/Fotokon]

People who get vaccinated against COVID-19 in Poland will receive a confirmation document, a “vaccine passport”, after having received a second dose of the vaccine, according to Polish deputy Health Minister Anna Goławska. Poland is the latest country to welcome the idea of a “vaccine passport” as many member states consider solutions to restart cross border travel.

After vaccination, the confirmation will come in the form of a QR code, which can be downloaded from one’s personal e-government or public health system account, Goławska said. In case this is not possible, printing will also be made available at the vaccination point.

The code “will be the so-called passport of the vaccinated person, which will confirm that the person has been vaccinated and can use the rights to which vaccinated people are entitled,” she added.

The idea was included in Poland’s National Immunisation Program, adopted by the government in December, which stated that vaccinated people will be able to use public health services without additional testing, not be included in the measures for socialising and they also won’t have to quarantine after being in contact with a person infected with COVID-19.

Cyprus became the first EU member state to lobby in December for abolishing entry requirements like testing and quarantine for travellers who get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Greece had written a letter to EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen this week, urging her to introduce an EU-wide COVID-19 vaccination certificate that would ease travel across the bloc. Other member states, like Denmark, have expressed their intention to work on a “vaccine passport”.

However, it is yet unclear on what modalities such an EU-wide certification could be based and whether it will materialise.

France, whose population counts a high number of vaccine sceptics, has ruled out such an idea. At the same time, Romania said a vaccination certificate must be used for medical reasons, not for travel.

(Anna Wolska | EURACTIV.pl, Alexandra Brzozowski, EURACTIV.com)

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