An ongoing debate in Europe has raised concerns among Brazilians and residents of other countries outside the development bubble who dream of traveling to the continent after the pandemic cools and the vaccination program expands.
The EU (European Union) defends that only vaccinated vaccines approved for use in the block can gain access to the free green digital certificate pass, which the entity diplomatically avoids calling the vaccine passport.
This would now exclude Coronavac, a medicine of Chinese origin which is formulated and will be manufactured by the Butantan Institute in São Paulo.
So far, the vaccine is on about 80% of National Immunization Program cards, other AstraZeneca / Oxford University drug records.
It’s still a nascent debate, and started with an eye on American tourists who can visit Europe during the summer (winter in the southern hemisphere). There are doubts about using settings other than vaccination for the digital pass, but negotiations with Washington are ongoing.
It’s a discussion that dominates conversations at associations like Iata, which brings together airlines and has already created an app to safely collect health data from travelers. After all, air traffic worldwide fell 65.9% last year.
On Saturday, the President of the European Commission, the executive body of the EU, Ursula von der Leyen, told the New York Times that “Americans, as far as I know, use vaccines approved by the EMA (Agence European Medicines) “.
“Because one thing is clear. The 27 member states will unconditionally accept those who are vaccinated with EMA-approved immunizers,” von der Leyen said.
Today that would mean those who have received doses of the vaccine from Pfizer (Germany / US), Moderna (US), Janssen (US) or AstraZeneca (UK / Sweden). The Russian Sputnik V, the American Novavax and the German CureVac are being analyzed at the EMA.
With the success of the US vaccination program, which has reached over 40% of the adult population in at least one dose and has led to a reduction in the use of masks and other measures, the EU is considering a resumption of its depressed tourism sector.
Asked to better explain the leader’s sentences, the spokespersons of the European Commission wanted to say that everything is still under study.
Strictly speaking, the proposal for a European green digital certificate brings three parameters: who has received the entire vaccination protocol (two doses for most drugs), who is not infected according to an RT-PCR test carried out by the governments on arrival and who already has a certificate of recovery from Covid-19 within the last 180 days.
So, in theory, it would be possible to assume that a Brazilian with a negative RT-PRC will be able to enter Europe without being vaccinated once the restrictions are lifted. But Von der Leyen’s insistence left the question open: what if wealthy nations insisted on vaccination?
There, Brazilian travelers will have a problem, given that so far about 41 million of the 58 million doses distributed to the Ministry of Health have come from Coronavac. No Chinese immunizer is being analyzed by the EMA or the FDA (Food and Drug Administration, Anvisa americana).
“The committee can change its recommendation after consulting member states,” Leyen spokesperson Eric Mamer told a press conference on Monday (26).
Asked by Folha about the situation in case the WHO (World Health Organization) approves the use of Coronavac in its Covax Facility consortium, the commission said it was up to the countries in the bloc to decide.
Doubts are of course not limited to Brazilians. In addition to the Chinese, Chileans, South Asians and others who use Chinese vaccines, there is the problem of Sputnik V, which is applied to Hungarians – members of the EU.
Mamer confined himself to saying that “the situation today is more favorable to American travelers”, not only because of the use of approved immunizers in Europe, but also because of the epidemiological situation.
To qualify for the list of countries that may have non-essential travel to the EU, currently limited to Australia New Zealand, Thailand, South Korea, Singapore and Rwanda, the country must not have had more than 25 new cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 inhabitants in the past two weeks.
As of Wednesday (27), Brazil had nearly 7,000 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.
Discussion is spreading across the world, as are ethical questions about creating citizens divided by health categories. It is not an easy thing.
In Hong Kong, this Thursday (29) bars and restaurants will be open for the first time since November. But the local government has stipulated subcategories of restrictions that depend on the nature and size of the establishment, which even the usually disciplined Honcongues do not find achievable.
A bar can have two people per table with half the total capacity and operate until 2 a.m. Restaurants, meanwhile, have licenses of four to six occupants per table and hours of operation from 10 p.m. to midnight.
It all depends on the degree of vaccination of employees and customers, as measured by an app showing whether the person has taken a dose or two – in the territory, Coronavac and Pfizer vaccines are available.
Yet immunity passports seem to be a commercial inevitability. World immunization champion Israel is already using the program nationally.
In the United States, there are a myriad of regional passes with different information (vaccination, screening), and the WHO is working with the technology government of Estonia on a way to integrate the data into passports with chips ( case of Brazil).