By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
In the document, the WHO says it wants member states and partners to issue “standards-based interoperable digital certificates for COVID-19 vaccination status.”
It adds that these are “considerations for implementation of such systems, for the purposes of continuity of care, and proof of vaccination.”
Critics say these policies violate the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which includes the self-determination of people over their bodies.
Article 7 says: “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. In particular, no one shall be subjected without his free consent to medical or scientific experimentation.”
It was not immediately clear how the WHO, the U.N.‘s public health body, would reconcile its recommendations with the international treaty.
In its guidance, the WHO suggests replacing plastic vaccination status cards with digital certificates such as QR-codes, the type of matrix barcodes already used in smartphones.
“The primary target audience of this document is national authorities tasked with creating or overseeing the development of a digital vaccination certificate solution for COVID-19,” the WHO writes.
That solution may also be useful to “government partners such as local businesses” and international groups, “non-governmental organizations and trade associations,” the WHO adds.
The WHO warns they all “may be required to support Member States in developing or deploying a [Digital Documentation of COVID-19 Certificates: Vaccination Status] DDCC:VS solution.”
It admits there are ethical concerns but claims that “DDCC:VS can promote welfare through proof of vaccination.” It can also help in the “continuity of care by ensuring that individuals do not receive an inappropriate mix of vaccine types,” the WHO argues.
Perhaps referring to reports of side effects and even some deaths related to COVID-19 jabs, the WHO notes that the global digital information system would “allow for appropriate follow-up in the unlikely event of any adverse events.”
In a controversial section of its guidance, the WHO says for people carrying a digital code or similar digital vaccination, doors will open worldwide. “Other benefits will follow from the use of a DDCC:VS. Because of improved health and subsequently increased opportunities for individuals and communities to make their own choices and pursue their own economic and social goals.”
Such an outcome, the WHO writes, “is an important common good – that is, a good for all that cannot be created by each individual alone. Such goods require the coordinated actions of, and support from, governments.”
And “promotion of this objective also contributes to confidence in the vaccination program benefitting the whole population.”
The proposed digital vaccination certificate and information exchange system is already introduced in the 27 European Union states and other countries.
In Hungary’s capital Budapest, a Worthy News reporter watched quests being asked to show their “QR vaccination status codes” before they could enter a piano bar.
Similar measures are introduced at several other Hungarian establishments.
Hungary, a nation of nearly 10 million people, is among countries where most adults have had at least one COVID-19 shot.
The WHO cautions that vaccines may not prevent the spread of new coronavirus variants and says surveillance has to continue worldwide.
Nearly 4.5 million people, primarily elderly with underlying health conditions, died of COVID-19 related causes in an almost 8 billion world population, according to official data.
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