Although the Digital Green Certificate (app) system has good intentions to facilitate cross-border free movement, the system may nevertheless result in the legitimization of de-facto discrimination of non-vaccinated persons within the EU Member States. This is due to the Regulation amplifying national vaccine passport initiatives. As of today, many Member States have decided to use the certificates not only to cross borders but to exercise the most basic human rights.
The health identification documents for the exercise of basic rights form a discriminative instrument. Yet, as it remains on a national level, citizens may have better influence on the vaccine passport policy in their own country. If the EU legitimizes the intentions of the Member States, citizens will be deprived of the efficiency in influencing national politicians.
With a 98% survival rate of those infected, introducing “passportization” as a proof of vaccination, besides frequent testing as a non-sustainable alternative, is controversial on many levels.
Firstly, persons inoculated by an EMA-approved vaccine may still get infected and infect others. According to the WHO that serves as a point of reference during the pandemic, Member States should not require proof of vaccination as a condition of entry, given the limited (although growing) evidence about the performance of vaccines in reducing transmission and the persistent inequity in the global vaccine distribution. Member States are strongly encouraged to acknowledge that the negative potential requirements of proof of vaccination deepen inequities and promote differential freedoms of movement.
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in its Resolution from 27 January 2021 urged Member States and the EU to ensure that citizens are informed that a vaccination is not mandatory and that no one is under political, social, or other pressure to be vaccinated if they do not wish to do so; to ensure that no one is discriminated against for not having been vaccinated, due to possible health risks or not wanting to be vaccinated.
Moreover, no consideration is found yet in the Digital Green Certificate proposal regarding a medically approved personal override certification that goes above and beyond the already proposed three-tick set of choices. This would be particularly appropriate for people who need to travel across borders and will cause no imminent danger of infecting other people in their destination country due to medically established and approved conditions.
Secondly, all vaccines administered in the EU have obtained a CONDITIONAL marketing authorization only. Therefore, one cannot impose preventive medication that has not obtained a final approval by EMA.
Thirdly, the expiration of the certificates due to the vaccine ceasing being efficient after 6-8 months following vaccination will result in confusion. With tests being an expensive alternative, the certificate serves as a forceful instrument for those people that do not want to vaccinate but will have to because of the fear of being excluded from society or to become “socially undesirable persons”. Further down the line, this will lead to segregation in society. This, therefore, makes a de-jure voluntary vaccination a de-facto compulsory one.
Thus, our plea to you is the following: please do not legislate on a vaccination passport/certificate referred to currently as Digital Green Certificate. More precisely, please reject a proposal enabling the creation of a two-tier society based on compliance with rapidly evolving demands, as opposed to on free will, with consent and individual responsibility.
Team, Members, and Supporters
Promote Freedom Foundation