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India opposes vaccine passports at G7 meet, Harsh Vardhan says idea 'discriminatory'

 Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, addressing the meeting of his counterparts from seven wealthy nations - to which India was invited this year as a guest - raised concerns about the availability of vaccines and low rates of inoculation in developing nations.

India opposes vaccine passports at G7 meet, Harsh Vardhan says idea 'discriminatory'-dnm
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Bengaluru, First Published Jun 5, 2021, 4:50 PM IST
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Union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Friday conveyed India's strong opposition to the idea of vaccine passport at a G7 plus ministerial session. Dr Vardhan said that it is still immature to implement such a move — in which countries may allow only vaccinated travellers — as the vaccination coverage of developing countries is less than the developed countries.

Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, addressing the meeting of his counterparts from seven wealthy nations - to which India was invited this year as a guest - raised concerns about the availability of vaccines and low rates of inoculation in developing nations.

"At this stage of the pandemic, it is pertinent to also discuss India's concern over the idea of a vaccine passport. Considering the fact of the lower levels of vaccination of the population in developing countries in contrast to the developed countries and given the still-unaddressed issues related to equitable and affordable access, supply and distribution of safe and effective vaccines, India would propose that the implementation of a vaccine passport will be hugely discriminatory and disadvantageous to the developing countries. India would suggest that the same should be implemented duly taking into consideration emerging evidence of the efficacy of vaccines and under the over-arching coordination by WHO duly attending to the anomaly of access and affordability as it exists today," the health minister said.

"India would suggest that the same should be implemented duly taking into consideration emerging evidence on [the] efficacy of vaccines and under the overarching coordination of WHO duly attending to the anomaly of access and affordability as it exists today," Dr Vardhan said.

The minister tweeted that with India being invited as a guest nation for this year's G7, he had the privilege to address the health ministers meeting via video conference. "Expressed India's concern & strong opposition to 'Vaccine Passport' at this juncture of the #pandemic. With vaccine coverage as a % of population in developing countries still low compared to developed countries, such an initiative could prove to be highly discriminatory," the minister tweeted.

Several countries including the US and the UK have talked about vaccine passports for letting their citizens travel abroad or visitors from other countries to come in. The European Union has also been working to introduce a vaccine travel document for tourists.

NOTE: Asianet News humbly requests everyone to wear masks, sanitize, maintain social distancing and get vaccinated as soon as eligible. Together we can and will break the chain #ANCares #IndiaFightsCorona 

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