EU: 'Real split' over vaccine passport idea says expert
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The health chiefs are the latest to criticise the proposals after a majority of member states also urged eurocrats to shelve the plans. Hans Kluge, the regional director of WHO Europe, suggested the move would fail because it was not known for how long vaccine immunity lasts. “We understand the governments are confronted with the political reality, but it is not a recommendation from the WHO,” the Belgian doctor warned.
The European Commission last week it announced plans for a “Digital Green Pass” to kickstart travel across the Continent.
Eurocrats suggested it could open talks with the WHO to establish whether the scheme can be extended to foreigners.
An EU diplomat told Express.co.uk that 25 of the 27 member states no longer want Brussels to publish the plans.
Despite the resistance, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has penned a letter to capitals insisting she will still unveil the proposals on March 17.
The insider said: “We’ve got more important issues to be dealing with at the moment.”
The source added that the scheme would be “pointless” while eastern bloc countries use unauthorised vaccines, such as the Russian Sputnik V and the Chinese Sinopharm jabs.
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Mrs von der Leyen hoped to use the vaccine passport to unlock travel within the bloc, as well as the possibility of international travel.
The certificate is expected to carry information on proof of vaccination or a negative test, and also be forgery proof.
Eurocrats are keen to press on with the plans because European countries reliant on tourism would simply go it alone otherwise.
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Cypress and Greece have already announced similar unilateral plans that could see Britons who have been vaccinated welcomed as summer tourists this year.
Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic have all bought or plan to buy Chinese and Russian jabs separately from the EU’s joint vaccine scheme.
The bloc’s rules enable member states to buy supplies of vaccines not covered by the programme, even if they have not received authorisation from the European Medicines Agency.
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It is understood that the EU might not open up for international travel until it has dished out jabs to at least 70 percent of its adult population.
Mrs von der Leyen says this should happen by September 21.
Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg
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