The Israeli Public Emergency Council for the Covid19 Crisis
To:

All members of the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee

Green Passport – Misuse of the Vaccination Certificate

In our previous document (31.12.2020), the Emergency Council submitted a report to the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee regarding the passport, including the way in which it relates to health, epidemiological, technological, social and moral aspects. We would like to remind you all that the green passport serves two objectives:

  1. Encouraging immunization.
  2. Possible opening of “green areas” and subsequent opening of commerce.

The first goal, encouraging immunization, is not necessary: the various HMOs are unable to satisfy the need and there are not enough doses of the vaccination to meet the demand. Israel significantly leads the world in the rate of vaccination and therefore there is no need, in contrary to forecasts by various sources, to encourage the vaccination process in Israel.

Regarding the second objective, opening of commerce seems to be very problematic: many questions still exist regarding the effectiveness of the vaccination in preventing infection and transmission. Therefore, the “green passport” is become a double-edged sword, creating a false sense of security that could lead to outbreaks due to mass gatherings.

The World Health Organization (WHO), recommends that “vaccination certificates” be used solely for epidemiologic purposes and rejects any other use of these certificates. The validation of this recommendation was renewed on January 15, 2021, in the WHO’s Emergency Committee. To date, no country in the world makes use of the immunization certificate for use other than epidemiological purposes, with the exception of a handful of countries in which the certificate is a prerequisite to foregoing quarantine when entering their territory. Moreover, a number of countries have already declared that they will not use the vaccination certificate. Such countries include Great Britain, Ireland and Germany.

Additionally, we have warned that the green passport constitutes an unprecedented step which does not align with medical, social and ethical principles, including individual confidentiality and autonomy, infringes on fundamental rights, and opens the door to labeling and ranking segments of the population.

Our suggestion was, and remains, to abstain from making use of the vaccination certificate. At this stage, and in light of existing knowledge, use of the vaccination certificate is unnecessary “marketing” that even conceals a health risk. Moreover, use of the vaccination certificate constitutes an ethical and social Pandora’s box, planting seeds of medical coercion using “carrots” and “sticks”. Simple logic dictates that the corona vaccination should be registered in the individual’s personal vaccination booklet, and that this vaccination should be treated in the same manner as any other vaccinations such as measles, hepatitis B or the Mantoux test.

While governments throughout the world debate the epidemiological, legal and ethical standing of the “vaccination certificate”, Israel is rushing forward in issuing these certificates and no longer wondering about the “if”, only concerned with the “how” and “when”. The issuing of the Green Passport, with all the contentious issues it brings, was never discussed in the required regulatory bodies, such as the National Council for Bioethics, and an ethical and legal opinion was never consulted in depth, as is befitting of such an unprecedented step. It sometimes seems that in our rush forward, forced upon us at times due to the severe corona crisis, we forget that the green passport is a means, not an end in itself.

Existing knowledge indicates that the Green Passport is unnecessary, poses an epidemiological risk, and constitutes a ‘slippery slope’ for aspects relating to medical ethics and social perspectives.

We, many of whom have been vaccinated (and some of us who have fallen ill with Corona) and are eligible for the green passport- call out to you: the appropriate place to register the corona vaccination of each individual is in each person’s individual vaccination booklet. The corona vaccination is equivalent to every other significant vaccination such as measles and polio. There is no need for a “green passport”.

Signed,

The Public Emergency Council for the Covid19 Crisis