Amid all the politicization and division of COVID-19 vaccine passports, experts are saying it will be an unwieldy program that might never impact anyone much.
There are also inequities on who gets the vaccine and privacy laws that will make any vaccine passport policies difficult to roll out, according to Business Insider.
They might help spur some more international travel initially, but they will not be "as big a deal as everyone thinks," Aviation Agency President Bryan Del Monte, a former U.S. Defense Department director, told BI.
Developing the system and protocols might take more time than actually immunizing the masses, he added.
"The vaccine passport could wind up being irrelevant because by the time everyone gets inoculated, do you really need one?" Del Monte said.
He also noted other vaccinated diseases are not checked for international travel, including measles or rubella.
The European Union is proposing a "Digital Green Certificate" to free up travel between in 27 member countries, while China, Israel, United Arab Emirates, and the Philippines have their own similar programs.
New York is requiring proof of vaccination for large gatherings, while the White House is working on a proposal to do the same, including travel.
But inequality in who gets the vaccine will ultimately be a difficult hurdle, even the World Health Organization admits.
"If access to vaccine is [unequal], then inequity and unfairness can be further branded into the system," WHO Health Emergencies Program Executive Director Mike Ryan said March 8, BI reported.
The WHO has reported the world's wealthiest countries comprise just 16% of the world's population but bought up 60% of the vaccines.
Even the rich countries will struggle to develop vaccine passport infrastructure in the travel, tourism, and entertainment industries.
"The technology to make this happen is very difficult, but the even more difficult part that no one's talking about is the politics that go into this," 10xTravel founder Bryce Conway told BI.
Republicans are going to stand against vaccine passports, much like Democrats stand against voter I.D. laws – and some Republicans are even asking Democrats if vaccine passports are going to be required to gather to vote.
So, experts expect the political fight to slow any roll out in the U.S. – and that is not to mention any legal battles that might result.
"We can't even agree how to row the boat in this country," Del Monte told BI. "This is not going to roll out quickly."
And, experts add, forget about getting every country to align under one system, as even China is playing favorites on which vaccines are permitted under their system, suggesting the Russian vaccine is not reliable enough, according to the report.
"I don't think you're going to have a multinational, huge system where everyone's on it and that's the one standard that's used," Conway told BI.
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