Sometime soon, you might arrive at an airport or a stadium or a restaurant, open an app or flash a card, and be admitted to a place or experience that was denied you during the pandemic. You will have just deployed a vaccine passport, a certification of either vaccination status or immunity following a natural infection that confirms you no longer pose a risk to others.
“Soon” is right now in Israel, where a passport debuted in February that lets vaccinated people attend events and patronize restaurants and gyms in the country, and in Estonia and Iceland, where proof of vaccination allows non-citizens to enter without quarantine. Soon is probably the near future for other rich countries that vaccinated their citizens early—including in the United States, where the Biden administration has committed to the concept of vaccine passports and is pushing the Department of Health and Human Services to set standards for competing private-sector products.
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