Global Covid-19 vaccine passports 'probably' way to go, says Jason Leitch
The ex-Labour leader says the UK could lead the the way in the creation of a global ID that shows Covid-19 vaccine and disease status.
His think-tank, the Tony Blair Institute (TBI), said in a report the UK should use its position as leader of the G7 to promote the development of a "global Covid-19 travel pass”.
Mr Blair claimed this would aid the recovery of the economy, including the vital tourism sector.
Prof Leitch told Holyrood's Covid-19 committee on Thursday he had not seen the "exact details" of Mr Blair's proposals.
But he added: "I imagine it's relatively sensible. It's about doing it globally, not just in an individual region of the world. It's about doing that centred around that public health knowledge as it develops."
But Prof Leitch warned it may be too early to implement such a scheme immediately without knowing what the vaccine does for transmission.
"That doesn't mean we shouldn't get ready for what that might mean in our future,” he said.
"So I'm supportive, but I'm probably perhaps a little bit slower than some."
The national clinical director said he would not endorse the prospect of people being stamped with "bar codes which allow you to behave differently”.
He said: "I just don't know if that's the way that the science suggests we should go.
"It may happen in the future. For example, you cannot be employed as a surgeon as I was without showing your Hepatitis B status. So we have precedent for that.
"Also, you cannot go to certain parts of the world without a yellow fever certificate. So you're not allowed in unless you prove you've had a yellow fever vaccination. So there are global examples of where this is true.
"I think we will probably move towards that."
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