Vaccination Passports


Remember when you had to carry a ‘Certificate of Vaccination’ when you travelled overseas?  These certificates were issued by the WHO as little yellow booklets that had to be stamped and signed by doctors who gave vaccinations against smallpox, yellow fever, cholera, typhoid, polio, hepatitis and perhaps other diseases that I’ve forgotten about.

And every vaccination had to be up-to-date. In the certificate that I was using in the 1970s and 80s I found a post-it note reminding me to have another typhoid jab before 25/06/87. Here’s a photo of that certificate, together with its replacement, open at the page showing the lastest entry:
29/07/93 … Gammaglobulin for Hep A … 2ml

Nobody kicked up a fuss. Everybody recognised that these potentially fatal diseases had to be controlled and that meant ensuring that people travelling across inter­national borders were not carrying them in their bodies. So I really don’t understand why some people are up-in-arms at the suggestion of a SARS-Cov-2 vaccination certificate as a necessary travel document.

Mind you, I do remember a doctor saying, in a country that I will not name, “Do you want the shot, or just the stamp saying you’ve had the shot? The fee is the same.”