Ivanusa: World Health Organization (WHO) does not support introduction of Covid passports
"The vaccine on the one hand brings hope, but people relax very easily"
Countries can adopt various measures, including those on so-called vaccination IDs or "Covid passports", but the position of the World Health Organization is clear and opposed to that, says the director of the WHO in Serbia, Marijan Ivanusa.
He explained for RTS that the purpose of a "Covid passport" as one of the public health measures would be "to protect people from bringing the virus in, and be based on professional, rather than geopolitical decisions."
"From an expert point of view, there is no justification and reason for such a thing," said Ivanusa, when asked about Slovenia's decision to introduce the measure of so-called vaccination IDs for entry into that country (by vaccines manufactured by Pfizer and Moderna.)
Speaking about the pandemic still flaring up, Ivanusa said that he is aware it is very difficult for people because the pandemic has lasted for a long time, but that strict respect of all anti-epidemiological measures is crucial.
"The vaccine on the one hand brings hope, but people relax very easily. We see a light at the end of the tunnel, but we must continue to pay attention to hand hygiene, masks, distancing, hand washing...," he warned.
The Chinese manufacturer Sinopharm submitted the necessary documentation for its vaccine to the WHO, confirmed Ivanusa and added that WHO's decision can be expected in March.
"We are issuing temporary permits for use and so far it has been accepted for the Pfizer vaccine, and it is in progress for the AstraZeneca, which is expected at the beginning of next week. This would mean that Serbia would also receive the AstraZeneca vaccine through the Covax Initiative. The documentation from Chinese manufacturers is being reviewed, and we expect those decisions in March," Ivanusa stressed, and added that the Russian manufacturer also submitted documentation to the WHO.
"The opinion of the WHO has its specific weight, but national regulatory bodies are independent," said Ivanusa.
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