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COVID-19 Vaccine Passport: Future New Travel Requirement? Posted by on Mar 22, 2021 in Economy, Events, News, Vocabulary

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As Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines are more widely available to the public in recent days, like everyone else, I see light at the end of the tunnel. I can’t wait to be vaccinated and be able to freely travel around the world again in the near future. At this point, the Government of Vietnam is still suspending entry into Vietnam to all foreigners with limited exemptions. Even family reunification is not exempted. But, there’s good news. On March 17, the Vietnamese Prime Minister (Thủ Tướng) Nguyễn Xuân Phúc urged relevant ministries and agencies to consider gradual resumption of international flights and prepare to accept applications for a “hộ chiếu vắc xin“ (vaccine passport).

Hộ chiếu vắc xin (Vaccine Passport)

Have you heard of or possessed a “hộ chiếu vắc xin”? I’m still waiting for my turn to be vaccinated, so I don’t even have the vaccination certificate yet. As for the “hộ chiếu vắc xin”, the United States is still talking about it. Just to be clear, “hộ chiếu vắc xin” is proof that you have either tested negative for COVID-19 or have been vaccinated. With this digital era, that “hộ chiếu vắc xin” could be in electronic format or just a physical paper card, like the yellow immunization card in the United States.

Let me throw some related vocabulary words at you.

  • Hộ chiếu – Passport
  • Chủng ngừa – Immunization
  • Vắc xin – Vaccine
  • Đại dịch – Pandemic
  • Giấy chứng nhận tiêm vắc xin dự phòng – Certificate of Immunization
  • Tổ chức y tế Thế giới – World Health Organization (WHO)

Hộ chiếu vắc xinin Reality

I don’t know how “hộ chiếu vắc xin” will work when international travel resumes. It is too soon to say because at this moment, who knows which countries will accept or exclude what types of vaccine. Denmark and Sweden said they will develop “hộ chiếu vắc xin” for travel while France and Germany showed no enthusiasm. Moreover, what would be the actual name for the hộ chiếu vắc xin? Would there be a universal name or various phone app names. Who knows.

I scanned through some Vietnamese online newspapers this week, and they all mentioned “hộ chiếu vắc xin. The government is really looking forward to re-opening the country. The economy in general, and tourism in particular has suffered tremendously due to COVID-19. Therefore, the Vietnamese tourism industry is pushing for the prospect of welcoming tourists back by July with this “hộ chiếu vắc xinconcept. It is always easy to say but hard to do. The talk is everywhere but the implementation is still somewhere…out there. I hope a solution will be found soon.

In case you are curious about the number of COVID-19 infection cases in Vietnam, here is the latest number I got from The Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Online Newspaper of the Government (VGP): As of March 17, 2021, Vietnam confirmed 2,560 COVID-19 infection cases, including 2,158 recoveries and 35 deaths.

Pros & Cons

I see the argument for rapidly reopening the country from both sides. Everyone is looking forward to returning to “normal” life as soon as possible. Some are eager to get vaccinated, some are hesitant, and some refuse the option. The “hộ chiếu vắc xin would allow countries to fully reopen their economies and for people to travel. However, it may lead to other unintended negative effects such as discrimination against people who don’t have access to the vaccine, or people coerced into vaccination. Worse, it may bring a false sense of security from believing in the immunity of COVID-19, leading to irresponsible behaviors.

What do you think? Are you in favor, or against a vaccine passport?

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