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Immunity Passports

What is an immunity passport?   

       
It is an official document, either physical or electronic that confirms an individual is immune to a disease. In this case the disease would be a Covid-19 infection.          
         
Why and where would these passports be used?  

        
Governments and businesses could make use of them to restrict people from going to work, or boarding planes, trains, buses or other forms of transportation if they did not have one. There are many other restrictions they could be used for including but not limited to buying insurance policies, entering stores or restaurants, attending sport events/activities or nightclubs or any public social activity.          
         
The rationale for mandating immunity passports would be that anyone not having one could be Covid-19 positive and infect others around them.          
         
But the entire concept of immunity passports and the urgent need for them is built upon a myth. The myth is that Covid-19 is a deadly disease that will kill tens of millions of people around the world.          
         
The reality is that after a year and a half, if we believe the official Covid-19 death figures, the virus has killed less people than are claimed in the same time by pneumonia!         
         
Who started this myth and who perpetuates it?          
         
The W.H.O. and C.D.C. started the myth and government leaders around the world and the mainstream media have all jumped on the same bandwagon to perpetuate it. They have all done an excellent job of instilling fear and anxiety in the public, pumping them 24/7 with non-stop news stories about soaring Covid-19 case numbers and deaths.          
         
Any solutions these organizations and governments have for the pandemic will be, by default, completely unnecessary and harmful both physically and mentally to the world at large. It would be like undergoing an operation to remove a tumor that didn't exist.          
         
Is there a need for immunity passports each season when the flu season starts? People get sick and die from the yearly flu pandemics in numbers similar to Covid-19 but we have never seen or even discussed having immunity passports for them.

Immunity:          
         
How can medical authorities determine if you are immune from Covid-19?          
         
Traditionally when you become infected with a disease your body creates antibodies to protect you from future infection. But with CV scientists don’t know whether everyone will produce enough antibodies to guarantee future protection. Nor do they know what a safe level of antibodies might be or how long immunity might last.           
         
Immunity might last one to two years or might be much shorter. In that case, having an immunity passport would not guarantee an individual would be immune from re-infection.          
         
Wajnberg, A. et al. -  Humoral immune response and prolonged PCR positivity in a cohort of 1343 SARS-CoV 2 patients in the New York City region  Apr. 30, 2020 Text

           
         
Antibody tests:          
         
Blood tests for antibodies are generally used to check on the spread of a virus. But often times their quality and efficacy are suspect. The WHO, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the US Food and Drug Administration warned against using them to assess immunity status for Covid-19. The vast majority of antibody tests have been found to be unreliable.          
         
The sheer volume of antibody testing that would be required to assess whether a person has CV antibodies is totally unfeasible.          
Two tests per year per person to confirm the test result would require hundreds of millions of tests in many countries.          
         
Whitman, J. D. et al. -  Test performance evaluation of SARS-CoV-2 serological assays   Apr. 25, 2020       
         
         
Too few immune people to make immunity passports practical:

The proportion of individuals known to have recovered from Covid-19 vs. those who never were infected varies widely in different populations. Hot spots in Germany and the United States show some locations have recovery rates between 14% and 30%.  3,000 people were tested in New York state in grocery shops and other public locations and 14.9% had antibodies against Covid-19. These are likely the exception however. In an April press conference, the WHO estimated that only 2–3% of the global population had recovered from the virus.          
         
When you have low disease prevalence, limited testing capacity and highly unreliable testing, only a small fraction of any population would be eligible for immunity passports. The number of immunity passports issued would be so small that making them mandatory would be totally impractical.         
        

          
Immunity passports would erode privacy:          
         
The alleged purpose of immunity passports is to control movement. By default, any implementation of immunity certification would include a system for identification and monitoring. But paper documentation could fall victim to forgery.          
         
Electronic documents present a more serious risk to privacy.           
China has implemented immunity passports in some Provinces to restrict entrance into public places on the basis of an individual’s Covid-19 health status. But the smartphone passport apps report more than just Covid-19 data. People’s locations, travel history, contact history and other health information, including body temperature and previous illnesses are also tracked.          
         
Taiwan uses similar smartphone apps and can alert police departments directly if required. The United States, United Kingdom, and many other countries are also testing immunity passport options.           
         
It is highly likely the smartphone apps won't fade away when Covid-19 does. China has already signaled that its QR-code tracking system will likely continue after the pandemic ends.          
         

Nature Medicine  -  On the responsible use of digital data to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic     Mar. 27, 2020 
 

Unfair access:          
         
In order to get an immunity passport a person would need to first be tested for Covid-19 antibodies. But there is an overall shortage of testing and many people simply do not have access to the tests. 

         
So far those who have obtained the earliest tests have been the wealthy and powerful. A two-tiered system of have's and have not's is not a fair method to determine who will get immunity passports if they are to be used to screen the populace.          
         
         
National divisions.           
         
Immunity passports could also fuel divisions between nations. Countries that are either unable or unwilling to issue immunity passports          
would lock their citizens out from countries requiring them.           
         
         
New forms of discrimination:          
         
Should immunity passports become standardized, there is a very real possibility that the program would be expanded to include other personal health information. Today's immunity passports could become tomorrow's biological passports that would          
store mental health data, genetic test results and lifetime immunization records.          
         
Government agencies, health departments, employers, insurance companies, law-enforcement officers and others could all discriminate as to who gains access to work and services on the basis of an 'appropriate' biological passport.          
       

Clayton, Evans, Hazel and Rothstein  -  The Law of Genetic Privacy: Applications, Implications, and Limitations   May 31, 2019 


          
Threats to public health:          
         
Only the small percentage of people who have contracted Covid-19 or asymptomatic carriers will have antibodies for it. Everyone else will not be immune to it.
Even those who are vaccinated can still become infected with Covid-19 and transmit the disease.

We are trying to minimize the spread of the Covid-19 virus.          
But if someone needed to have an immunity passport they would have to show they have antibodies to it. This would lead many people to either falsify their antibody test or deliberately get infected with the virus.          
         
Economic hardship could put additional pressure on individuals to take desperate measures, if an immunity passport was the only way to a pay cheque. They might obtain documents illicitly, through bribery or forgery.           
         

Phelan, Alexandra L.  -  Covid-19 immunity passports and vaccination certificates: scientific, equitable, and legal challenges    May 23, 2020   
          
In summary, immunity passports are just another in a long line of high-tech ideas being promoted by entrepreneurs more interested in a get-rich scheme than truly serving the populace with a worthy invention that would be of benefit to society.   

       
Governments worldwide however do see possibilities in using immunity passports for nefarious purposes to gain even more control over their citizens.

Additional references
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