A Terrible Great Idea? COVID-19 ‘Vaccination Passports’ in the Spotlight

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This article looks at central opportunities and drawbacks of the ‘passportization’ approach to governing the current health emergency. It showcases the complexity of the ‘vaccination passports’ idea, the technological and organisational difficulties expected during implementation, as well as its regrettable appeal. We provide a comprehensive overview on the ongoing discussion with analysis of arguments relating to the ethical, social and legal perspective. We submit that vaccination passports will not become the main tool in the fight with the COVID-19 crisis and are unlikely to play a positive role in the mitigation of its impact. There is no clear and straightforward connection to safety and security, while their rapid introduction might have similar consequences to opening Pandora’s box of discrimination and stigmatization.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherCentre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS), Oxford University
Number of pages26
Publication statusPublished - 11-Mar-2021

Publication series

NameCOMPAS Working Paper Series
PublisherCentre on Migration, Policy & Society, Oxford University


  • Covid-19
  • Vaccine Passports
  • Corona Passport
  • Digital Green Certificate
  • Privacy
  • Governance
  • Innovation
  • Citizenship
  • Human Rights
  • Surveillance

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