COVID-19 Vaccine

‘Vaccine Passports': Will They Be Available in the U.S. in Time for Summer?

NBC News senior medical correspondent Dr. John Torres writes about his search for vaccine certification

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After getting both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, I stored my appointment card in a safe. As a lead instructor for NATO special forces training, I'll need to prove my vaccination status before traveling to NATO headquarters in Belgium when in-person learning resumes, most likely this summer.

But my vaccine card, issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will actually not be enough to prove that I am fully vaccinated, especially for international travel. The cards are too easy to forge.

With more than 335 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine administered around the world so far, according to the World Health Organization, the race is on to develop a Covid-19 “vaccine passport.”

While planning for my NATO trip, I soon learned an official form wasn’t readily available in the U.S. yet — and may not be soon.

Vaccine passports that could determine what people can and can’t do come loaded with ethical considerations. Vaccines are still not easily available around the world and people would be divided into “haves” and “have nots.” Earlier this week, Dr. Mike Ryan, director of WHO's emergencies program, said using vaccine certification as a requirement for travel “is not advised.”

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