Vaccine passports a sensitive subject

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said there will be “very open conversations” with community groups, including faith-based organisations, regarding rules around any future requirements concerning a Covid-19 vaccination certificate or passport. 

At a press conference on October 5, Ms Ardern indicated that vaccine passports or certificates will be mandated for large scale events.  

“What we’re also looking at is circumstance where we may not mandate their use, but an organiser who may sit out of the mandate may wish to be able to use them. So, we’re looking at how we can create a legal framework so people who want to use them for their purposes are able to,” she said. 

The Prime Minister acknowledged, though, that there are some areas that “are actually much more sensitive”. 

“I would put, you know, social gatherings that are privately organised [and] church events in that category,” she said. 

Ms Ardern noted that vaccine passports have generally not been used overseas for events of that nature. 

“That’s where we’re going out and having those conversations around what kind of measures do those organisations want to have in place to keep their people safe? And if it means you could have more people, is that a tool that you would like to use?” she said. 

“They’ll be very open conversations, but that is an area where we’re going to be very cautious and also learn from overseas.” 

It was explained in that press conference that vaccine passports will likely be a digital Covid-19 vaccination certificate with a QR code to ensure privacy. 

Ms Ardern said that the Government is also mindful of the people who do not have access to technology, and are looking for ways to make the certificates accessible to them, such as having their health care provider print out a form for them.  

  

 

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Rowena Orejana

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