The COVID passport may increase vaccine acceptance in some countries

THE COVID certificate digital eu, sometimes called COVID Passport, certifies that a person has been vaccinated, tested negative, or recovered from the disease. This accreditation is already required in several European territories to access public places and shows, such as restaurants, hairdressers or concerts.

In addition to helping to prevent the spread of the pandemic in these locations, it has been suggested that this certificate can encourage to be vaccinated for people who have not yet done so, particularly those who consider their own risk of hospitalization or death from COVID-19 to be low.

But while several Spanish countries and autonomous communities have already applied for or are considering the introduction of the COVID passport, it has so far not been clear whether this public health intervention has increased acceptance of the vaccine. Some polls questioned for some population groups, however, various media and national health agencies they informed that it favored him.

Using data from France, Italy, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland and Israel, COVID certification has been shown to lead to greater acceptance of vaccines in countries with low vaccine coverage.

In this context, researchers from the Oxford University (UK) found that COVID certification has led to greater acceptance of vaccines in countries with low vaccination coverage, and especially among the more young. The results are published in the journal. The Lancet Public Health.

“The main finding of our study is that there was a significant increase in vaccinations about 20 days before the introduction of COVID certificates, which lasted until 40 days later, but the context of the country or region where it was introduced was important: We saw a relationship in France and Italy, with a longer history of doubts about vaccines”, explains the lead author to SINC, Melinda Mills.

Six countries with COVID passports

To conduct the study, researchers focused on data from Denmark, Israel, Italy, France, Germany and Switzerland, countries where the mandatory COVID passport was introduced from May to September 2021. They then compared them to 19 similar nations (Spain, UK, USA, etc.) where this measure had not been taken, comparing parameters key as daily cases, proportion of vaccinated and age.

Thus, it was observed that countries that started with a lower than average proportion of vaccines against covid-19 (France, Israel, Italy and Switzerland) experienced a large increase in vaccination, but there was no significant effect on Germany, where vaccination coverage was already high, not even in Denmark, where the supply of doses was limited.

Greater effect on young people

The results also reveal that the increase in vaccine acceptance was more pronounced among under 30 years after entering the passport, and that when it was requested to get into clubs and big eventsAs in Switzerland, the biggest increases occurred among groups under 20 years of age.

The authors conclude that COVID certification could help increase vaccine acceptance in some population groups, such as young people, but its implementation should be considered according to the existing context, such as vaccination coverage, doubts about vaccines, levels of trust in authorities and the trajectory of the pandemic.

“Our study does not take a personal stance or argue for or against its introduction, but rather tries to model the impact it could have on vaccine acceptance and infection,” emphasizes Mills, “and because our results are very context-specific, they indicate that countries should consider this aspect”.

“This certification by itself -concludes- wouldn’t be a silver bullet to increase acceptance of vaccines, and we clarify that, in particular for some groups where trust in their government is low or access to vaccines is difficult, more concrete measures would be more appropriate, such as dialogue to answer questions about vaccination or mobile units in certain neighborhoods”.

Rights: Creative Commons.

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