Australia faces obstacles with vaccine green cards

The Australian government hopes the vaccine green card is the key to unlocking the door after successive blockades, but this plan has many obstacles.

As more and more experts believe that Covid-19 will not be completely eradicated, countries around the world are in turn planning for the future of living with the epidemic. One of the measures for this plan that many countries have been and are about to deploy is the vaccine green card.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has backed the initiative to use vaccine green cards, on the grounds that vaccinated people pose a higher medical risk. Australia’s Tourism Minister Dan Tehan confirmed on September 8 that the country was developing a QR code system for vaccination certificates, which could be used for both international travel and participation in domestic activities, such as sporting events or going to the theater.

However, the plan was immediately opposed by Andrew Barr, the premier of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), who warned of difficulties in technology, policy and even public opposition. in having to present a vaccine green card to participate in economic and social activities.

While the Australian government has not yet made a formal decision on a nationwide vaccination certification system, fully vaccinated Australians can now obtain a digital Covid-19 certificate through the MyGov app or Express Plus Medicare.

For those who need a vaccination certificate to travel abroad, the information will be integrated into their chip-based passport, along with the equivalent QR code on a smartphone.

For those returning from abroad, this technology is said to notify cases that need to be isolated. Fully vaccinated people may be less subject to the same stringent isolation requirements as unvaccinated people, so this technology will be needed to categorize subjects.

However, at the local level, states are applying different regulations on vaccine green cards. Residents of New South Wales (NSW) and Victoria must present a vaccine green card through a system developed by the state government to enter bars or attend major events, while residents in the capital Canberra do not.

The state of New South Wales (NSW) and Victoria are recording a sharp increase in the number of new infections. Both states have announced that they will relax restrictions if vaccination rates are 70-80%. State officials also proposed some liberties that would only be available to fully vaccinated people.

A trial version of the vaccine green card on the New South Wales Service NSW app.  Photo: NSW Government.

A trial version of the vaccine green card on the New South Wales Service NSW app. Photo: NSW Government.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced last week that fully vaccinated people will enjoy their freedoms once 70 per cent of the eligible population have completed their vaccinations. These freedoms include going to hair salons, gyms, spas, restaurants, bars, hotels, or allowing up to five people to enter the home.

NSW plans to test and then introduce the vaccine green card in October. Data from the Australian Immunization Register will be integrated on the Service NSW app, to help the hotel and restaurant industry implement the process. easy determination.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews also said the state would roll out its own version of the vaccine green card. The “vaccination economy” trialled in Victoria will only allow fully vaccinated people to access events, facilities and services.

State officials say they are working to integrate the vaccination certificate into the Services Victoria app, to make implementation of the regulation easy for residents and businesses.

Meanwhile, Premier Barr of the Australian Capital Territory said the region’s Check-In CBR app failed to authenticate users’ identities and could not be used to confirm vaccination status. Similar apps in Queensland, Tasmania and the Northern Territory all use the same source code from the Australian Capital Territory.

In addition to the variety of medical certification applications, Australia also faces another difficult issue: how the green card regulation will apply to those who cannot get vaccinated or F0 have recovered after being infected with nCoV and advised not to get vaccinated for at least 6 months afterward.

The Australian Government has issued a declaration form specifically for those exempt from Covid-19 vaccination, updating the criteria for exemption from vaccination and must be approved by a doctor.

All levels of government using vaccine green cards will need to consider whether exemptions are appropriate or necessary, including those who have had nCoV infection or are advised not to be vaccinated for up to 6 months.

Victoria is considering expanding the exemption to people who are unwilling or unable to be vaccinated. They will then seek to integrate the waivers with existing applications.

A common way to manage unvaccinated people, whatever the reason, is to request certification of a negative test result for Covid-19. Italy’s vaccine green card or France’s Pass Sanitaire “health card” both now use this alternative information for people who have not been vaccinated. Israel’s green card also temporarily approves 72-hour negative test results at access points.

Whether Australia will integrate negative test results into its health information system still needs more time to get an answer. Scotland is reviewing a policy not to accept negative test certificates when entering nightclubs, but only to fully vaccinated people.

A person scans a QR code to access a public place in Victoria.  Photo: SMH.

A person scans a QR code to access a public place in Victoria. Photo: SMH.

Several other states in Australia will have to race to build new technology if they want to pursue the vaccine green card regulation in the near future. Applications used in Queensland, Tasmania, Northern Territory are not designed to include vaccine green cards.

Western Australia and South Australia are currently focusing on requiring healthcare workers and interstate travelers to have vaccination certificates, but there has been no move to require vaccine green cards for local activities. .

The survey shows that the Australian public supports the implementation of these measures and this is considered a favorable condition for the Australian government to implement the vaccine green card regulation. However, with technological barriers and different levels of acceptance by people in each state, Australia’s vaccine green card will face no small challenge, according to Katie Attwell, a senior lecturer at the University of Western Australia. .

Thanh Tam (Follow Conversation)


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