Published 30 April 2021

Certificate of vaccination against Covid-19: a provisional “pass” to boost the country’s activity and promote adherence to vaccination

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Certificate of vaccination against Covid-19: a provisional “pass” to boost the country’s activity and promote adherence to vaccination

Press release of the French National Academy of Medicine

April 29, 2021


Since the beginning of the Covid-19 vaccination campaign, the creation of a vaccination certificate has been proposed to allow international travels to resume. The implementation of this idea has so far been postponed due to the great inequality of vaccination deployment around the world [1]. On a national level, such a certificate could allow the gradual resumption of commercial and cultural activities interrupted by the lockdown and encourage undecided people to be vaccinated.

The current major challenge is to speed up the vaccination campaign and to achieve a sufficient collective immunity as soon as possible to reduce the circulation of SARS-CoV-2. This momentum, which has been delayed for a long time by the low availability of vaccines, is also hampered by the reluctance of a part of the population towards vaccination in general or certain anti-Covid-19 vaccines in particular. It is now accepted that mass vaccination is essential to overcome the health crisis, reduce the burden on hospital services and to resume activities whose prolonged suspension weighs more and more heavily on the economic and social life.

In theory, a “health pass” should contain information attesting to the non-contagiousness of its holder. Because of their uncertain or ephemeral nature, history data and virological or serological tests cannot provide the desired guarantees. In practice, only a vaccination certificate can be considered and authenticated by the “Vaccine  Covid” “Health Insurance teleservice “.

Despite the persistent uncertainties regarding the duration of protection induced by vaccination, vaccine efficacy against transmission and the possible occurrence of SARS-CoV-2 escape mutants, a certificate of vaccination is currently the best proof of the acquisition of a state of immunity against Covid-19. Although temporary, this “vaccination pass” could, in addition to the barrier measures, facilitate the resumption of the many activities that have been paralyzed for several months, under several conditions: an easy-to-use support accessible to the greatest number of people, security in the transfer of information and in the protection against falsification, and a guarantee of personal data confidentiality.

Furthermore, the benefits conferred by the “vaccine pass” could have an incentive effect by helping hesitant people to overcome their reluctance to be vaccinated.

The French National Academy of Medicine recommends that:

– the attribution of a “vaccination pass” be based on the proof of a complete or ongoing vaccination (from day 15 after the first dose);

– the “vaccination pass” be integrated in the form of a QR code in the “TousAntiCovid” application available on any mobile phone (a paper printable version should be provided for people who do not have a mobile phone);

– the development of the vaccination pass accompanies the gradual resumption of economic and/or people gathering activities”

– through the “vaccination pass”, the population still undecided  be encouraged to be vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2;

– this transitional provision be rapidly implemented at the national level before being adapted to integrate an international passport system.


  1. World Health Organization, Statement on the seventh meeting of the International Health Regulations (2005) Emergency Committee regarding the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, April 19, 2021