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Vaccine Passports – Are They Happening?

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Around the world, the big news continues to be the push for COVID-19 vaccination. With as much as it has been the topic of news and daily conversation, it would make you think that any day now the magical “heard immunity” we’ve all heard about will be achieved. The truth, is far less encouraging.

According to the New York Times, as of the beginning of April, less than 8% of the world’s population had received at least one dose of vaccine. Even in countries like Israel that are recognized for being ahead of the rest of the world in terms of vaccination, only 54% of the Israeli population is fully vaccinated. In other countries, the fully vaccinated population averages well below 10%. That’s very important when it comes to discussions of travel for business, pleasure, and events, which is why the vaccine passport conversation is a very real possibility.

Cruise lines, which have essentially not earned one passenger fare since March of last year, are eager to return to the water. However, the design of ships makes it difficult, if not impossible to always ensure sufficient social distancing to prevent all risk of transmission. However, by requiring proof of completed vaccination, cruise lines absolutely can be assured that passengers and crew are not transmitting COVID-19 amongst each other. A few cruise lines have even begun planning for VIP cruises to their loyalty members with the requirement that passengers must provide proof of vaccination to board.

Airlines have discussed similar methods, especially considering that many countries already require certain immunization records to grant visas for travel. The U.S. Travel association and other groups have also asked the federal government to strongly consider re-opening the U.S. to international travelers beginning May 1st. That brings with it a huge surge of people who may or may not have been able to receive vaccines in their respective home countries. Requiring proof of immunization may be one of the only ways to safely reopen travel without welcoming unwanted spikes in new infections.

For now, nothing official is required for U.S. citizens traveling domestically, though experts agree that individual businesses may choose to start doing so in the near future as a way of protecting themselves from liability, lost business, or damaged reputations. If you are vaccinated or plan to be, make it a point to make a digital scan of your completed vaccination card and keep the image in a safe cloud-based space, as well as on computers/laptops, and phones for easy reference as needed. Then, get a plastic sleeve or case for the original and keep a careful eye on it to prevent it from loss.

About the VIBE Agency: The VIBE Agency is a Miami-based award-winning full-service production agency that specializes in the creation and orchestration of live and virtual experiences for the corporate industry.   The agency is forward-thinking and was recognized as one of the 50 top event companies by Special Events magazine in 2019 and 2020.  Most recently, Valerie Bihet, founder of the VIBE was named a Smart Women in Meetings 2021 Hall of Fame honoree by Smartmeetings, for her consistent work advancing the industry.  If it can’t be live, make it VIBE!

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