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Vietnam eyes ‘vaccine passport’ acceptance

Wednesday, April 07, 2021, 17:53 GMT+7
Vietnam eyes ‘vaccine passport’ acceptance
Passengers board an aircraft in Vietnam. Photo: Tuan Phung / Tuoi Tre

The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) has urged the Ministry of Transport to build a protocol that would grant shortened quarantine to inbound travelers with COVID-19 vaccination certificates, informally known as 'vaccine passports.'

A technology solution to verify the COVID-19 vaccination status or test results of travelers will prove pivotal to the recovery of international air transport operations in Vietnam, according to the CAAV.

As reports of forged negative COVID-19 test results have emerged, a reliable verification system to prevent untrustworthy entrances is all the more essential to Vietnam’s reopening plan.

More specifically, the CAAV suggested the adoption of a QR code system, which would reduce an individual’s COVID-19 status into a scannable image that helps authorities quickly double-check the information when they need it.

A consistent verification system across countries will serve as the basis for the resumption of international travel, as authorities will be able to check the COVID-19 vaccination and test results of travelers more efficiently.

Nonetheless, it will also require negotiation for database linkage, uniform language, and information security among countries. 

However, vaccination does not provide 100 percent protection against COVID-19, which means a person with a ‘vaccine passport’ can still carry the pathogen, the CAAV pointed out.

For that reason, an in-depth research into the efficiency and durability of coronavirus vaccines is needed.

Currently, there exists many different ‘vaccine passport’ systems that are used by countries and organizations worldwide.

In Vietnam, the legal framework that informs the roll-out of ‘vaccine passports’ remains inadequate, while many government- and ministry-level negotiations are required to implement the initiative for entrants into Vietnam.

Considering the hardships that Vietnamese airlines are undergoing in the pandemic, the possibility of international route reopening is critical to the carriers’ survival, the CAAV stated.

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