According to Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba, “The government intends to issue COVID-19 passport as verification to individuals who have obtained the vaccine”.
Two Ways Proposed
“We propose two ways of doing so, have it displayed in the MySejahtera application (proof of vaccination) or keep the proof in physical form that is a passport that can be accepted by other countries,” he said.
Dr Adham said that the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) are in the midst of refining the programme, speaking at a press conference after the first batch of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines arrival.
Why the Need of the Passport?
Early February, talks about the passport were confirmed to be underway with the authorities by Malaysia Aviation Group Bhd (MAG), the parent of national carrier Malaysia Airlines Bhd but did not give any details. “A vaccine visa or health passport is designed to help nations be sure that all travellers are safe and do not pose a risk of causing the spread of COVID-19. Designed to work while the governments are still enforcing travel restrictions and quarantine policies, the health passport can be the first step to ensuring the safe reopening of international travel,” it says in a news report.
A Global Endeavour
The International Air Transport Association (IATA), an airline trade association representing 290 airlines worldwide, said earlier in November 2020 that it was in the final stages of creating a passenger digital vaccination passport. The IATA Travel Pass will allow travellers, via a contactless passport app, to share their vaccination status and COVID-19 test results with airlines and border authorities.