What is a Vaccine Passport?

mRNA vaccine vial
A mRNA vaccine vial

With the pandemic raging on for over a year now, new laws have been introduced to ensure the safety of travelers. One of the most prevalent requirements for travel being talked about right now are vaccine passports. But just what is a vaccine passport?

Even before the term became popular, proof of immunization was required to enter certain countries. For example, traveling to some African countries might require proof of vaccination for yellow fever. This is to ensure that the traveler is safe from deadly disease, but also so that those who might catch a disease but remain asymptomatic don’t transmit the disease upon return. This is the purpose of obtaining a vaccine passport.

A vaccine passport isn’t like a standard passport in the traditional sense. With a standard passport application, documentation must be submitted in order to establish identity and proof of citizenship. Unlike this, a vaccine passport is just proof of having been vaccinated. This does mean that for the covid-19 vaccine, you’ll need at least two weeks to become immunized due to the booster shot scheduling, so plan accordingly.

Those who have already been inoculated against Covid-19 are probably already familiar with the CDC immunization card issues at the time of your vaccination. This is essentially your vaccine passport. That small card works as proof to show that you’ve been immunized against the virus. This card is also available digitally through the CDC’s internal database. You can find more information on your immunization record here

There are still concerns surrounding the usage of so called vaccine passports however. Due to the fact that vaccines are ubiquitously available in every country, some are criticizing the implementation of such a requirement. While the United States is offering free vaccinations to all of its citizens, other nations with more limited supplies are offering vaccinations only to its more vulnerable populations. Since more vulnerable populations are less likely to travel, this can result in a complete stagnation of mobility by mass transit. The knock on effect of such could harm airlines and cruise providers.

The WHO has even mentioned that requiring proof of vaccination might cause less vulnerable individuals to seek vaccine priority over those more susceptible to the virus. This could have an adverse effect on the vulnerable population. This hasn’t stopped several countries from creating their own form of vaccination passport. Many European countries, as well as China, already have a form of recording keeping to ensure that those who are vaccinated may travel freely.

As time draws on, more and more airlines require proof of a vaccination via vaccine passports. Some airlines are even implementing their own systems to keep track of which fliers have already submitted their proof of inoculation. This can help speed up the process for frequent fliers and also ensure that the airlines don’t have to retread old ground. 

However, some individuals have begun to obtain fraudulent vaccination cards. These faux CDC vaccine cards are being sold on the street and online, and those who are avoiding a vaccine are attempting to use them to circumvent the vaccination requirements for some flights or cruises. This amounts to fraud, doing this can not only land you fines, or maybe even jail time, but it will certainly get you banned from whatever airline or cruise line you are attempting to use. If you cannot obtain a vaccine due to your medical history, you’ll need to get a notice from your healthcare provider. In any other cases, do not attempt to lie to the government or private companies about your vaccination status. Private companies have the legal right to require masks and proof of vaccination, and therefore have the right to refuse service to anyone who does not follow their internal guidelines.

In Need of an Actual Passport?

With passport wait times currently exceeding 18 weeks on the slow end, and barely hitting 12 weeks on the fast side of things, you might have more to worry about than just getting vaccinated. For first time applicants, the passport application process can be stressful. Navigating the complexities of the application process combined with the long wait times and need to get an appointment can be taxing. That’s where we come in.

The Passport Office is an authorized provider of expedited passports. Our offices can provide a 3-5 day turnaround on a new application. What’s better is that no appointment is required. Walk-in to one of our offices and we can get your entire application sorted. That means we’ll take care of any paperwork, photos, and shipping. All you need to do is show up. So don’t get lost in the malaise of shipping documents and waiting to hear back, apply through The Passport Office today. Start your order online, and 

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