You may have heard about the COVID-19 immunity certificates by now – these are certificates that act as a pass for people who have already recovered from the disease. There are various questions regarding how effective these are.
CNET reveals the debate behind this concept as the government is looking for various ways to reopen the economy. A lot of countries and businesses are considering these immunity certificates as a way to safely re-start life.
The concept behind them is that people who have been tested and are considered immune to the disease will get a pass to go outside. These passes would be issued via a device and technology will play an important role in the coronavirus-related solutions once more. So far, we have contact0tracing apps, robots with thermal cameras and more.
The online publication mentioned above notes that such immunity certificates are raising a massive debate about privacy, security, efficiency, and inequality.
Immunity certificates trigger various challenges
Health experts warn that the immunity certificates may trigger some challenges that have to be taken into consideration – the first one is their accuracy.
After people get tested for antibodies, and they show immunity to the disease, the certificates could be issued in more ways. Some of the latest proposals include a physical card, a QR code on a mobile app or a sticker on a passport.
Harvard University’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics released a white paper on the issue.
“Because paper credentials are subject to fraud and often require independent verification, such systems are unwieldy and impossible to scale to the challenge at hand,” the white paper suggests. We recommend that you check out the complete white paper in order to learn all the details.
The sad conclusion that the the whole idea of the antibody tests is not 100% secure, so experts cannot say for sure if these tests actually work – and if someone with antibodies is really immune. The quantity of the antibodies matters, for instance.
Also, unexpected protection against the disease is analyzed these days.