ROANOKE, Va. – The next time you board a flight, you may need to bring a different type of passport to the airport.
The Biden administration is working on a vaccine passport that would be used for work, school and international travel to prove you received the vaccine.
Travel is starting to pick up as more people are getting vaccinated and that’s why the vaccine passport may be needed. However, the concept is not new.
Dr. Noelle Bissell, the director of the New River Health District, points out how travelers already have to carry a yellow card when headed to countries with yellow fever.
“It wouldn’t be unheard of if they do start requiring people to prove their vaccination before they travel,” she said.
But Brad Boettcher with Roanoke Blacksburg Regional Airport said security of personal information is something to think about.
Also, if the vaccine passport is on a digital app, Boettcher said travelers without smartphones may have a problem.
With vaccination cards already being forged, he worries vaccine passports will be too.
“So that’s one of those other issues that is a question that has to be resolved,” he said.
It’s important to know that even if a traveler has the vaccine, it doesn’t mean where they are headed is in the clear.
“Not all countries globally have the vaccine rollout as quickly as we have it here in the U.S,” he said. “Some of these other countries that are behind in vaccinating their populations might be hesitant even with the passport.”
And with health equity still an issue, Boettcher said vulnerable communities waiting for a vaccine may also have to wait longer to gain the opportunity to travel.