Immunity Passports - what are they and is there an app?

The background to immunity passports, antibody certifcates, and what they really mean

Immunity passport is the term that people are using to describe an app or paper certificate that proves they have immune protection to a disease.

Is there a Coronavirus or Covid-19 immunity passport app?

Immunity passports are a complicated concept. Lots of people have tested positive for Covid-19 antibodies, according to one report this is as high as 17% in London - that's roughly 1 in 6 people. Doctors believe that the presence of these antibodies may give people protection against catching the Covid-19 virus again, but there is no agreement on how much protection and for how long.

The current lack of clinical evidence about the amount and length of protection that the Covid-19 antibodies provide means that that there can't be an immunity passport app or certificate, because although everyone might agree that you have antibodies, we don't really know what this means. Although there is no immunity passport app, there is an app - Prova - that allows you to have your Coronavirus test results delivered securely to the app, as soon as they're ready at the lab, and then lets you share your health status with anyone you choose, without revealing any personal information.

What have other people said about Immunity Passport apps?

We are looking at an immunity certificate - how people who have had the disease, have got the antibodies and therefore have immunity can... get back as much as possible to normal life.” - Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health

“Immunity passports” for key workers could be a way of getting people who have had coronavirus back into the workforce more quickly, scientists and politicians in the UK have suggested. - The Guardian

Immune individuals could be issued with a kind of vaccination certificate, which would allow them to be exempted from restrictions on their activities.” - Professor Gérard Krause, Head of Department of Epidemiology, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research

"It could be that this coronavirus causes a pretty robust immune response, which is durable and protective for much longer, maybe a year or even five years, but we don’t know because it’s a new virus." - Professor Peter Openshaw, Imperial College, London

Antibody tests, certificates and immunity passport apps

What are people saying across the media?

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