According the FT, which is tracking the roll out of COVID-19 vaccinations globally, the total number of COVID-19 vaccinations which have been administered as at 9th March 2021, is over 305 million. Click here for the latest data. 

12 countries which have given the most COVID-19 vaccinations per 100 residents


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Source: FT

As reported by Centre Blockchain de Catalunya , the 17th of March 2021 is the day the European Commission has reported it will be issuing an update on the ‘Digital Green Pass’. This is a certificate to prove if one has recently been tested for COVID-19 and whether the holder of the Green Pass has been vaccinated. According to Euronews, in an announcement from Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, she stated, "The Digital Green Pass should facilitate Europeans’ lives," adding, "The aim is to gradually enable them to move safely in the European Union or abroad - for work or tourism." However, it is believed that it will take another three months of technical work, so the Digital Green Pass is unlikely to be available until July 2021.

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Source: Twitter

Nevertheless, this has not prevented the rollout of the AOKpass, a Blockchain- powered solution which has been developed by the three organisation International Chamber of Commerce, Societe Generale of Surveillance and SOS International. The AOKpass is already being used in the Catalan city of Girona and so, by virtue, is helping the city to regain a degree of normality in the aftermath of the ravages of COVID-19. AOKpass is not the only Blockchain-powered app to prove if you have been vaccinated since the World Health Organisation (WHO) has been piloting a program with VaccineGuard, which has been developed by an Estonian-based company called Guardtime. As ever, Blockchain technology is not a silver bullet and there are other possible solutions, as Dr Stephen Castell, who recently wrote in Digital Bytes, pointed out: “There is an App called Zykme that transfers personal data P2P, securely and privately, using a unique patentable one-time transfer code protocol, i.e. simply from the data subject to another person with whom, and only with whom, that data subject wishes to share his/her personal data; and without that data being held centrally/remotely (so definitely NO blockchain!). Thus personal, Covid Vaccination Evidence Data is stored only in the App, on the personal smartphone etc device, totally under that person's individual control. There is no reason why Zykme could not include personal Authorized Covid Vaccination Evidence Data right now”.

While many countries are yet to fully support some form of vaccination passport it is difficult to see how airlines will even allow passengers on a plane without doing all they can to protect the safety of fellow passengers. Even in the US, the new Biden administration talks of “assessing the feasibility” of linking COVID-19 vaccinations to international vaccination certificates and producing electronic versions of them (page 181 of its 200-page national pandemic strategy with seven goals aimed for ending the COVID-19 pandemic). At one level it is difficult to see what the real objection is - after all, for many years travel has been prohibited to much of Africa and South America without certificated proof of having been vaccinated against yellow fever! On this subject too, WHO is also in discussions with Estonia to develop a ‘smart yellow card’ - a digital version of an existing analogue paper-based system to prove yellow fever vaccination.

There must surely be a balance between having to prove if one has been vaccinated (whereby allowing people to travel, gather in crowds, go to the theatres, cinemas, concerts etc) and restricting personal freedom. Ana Beduschi, an associate professor of law at the University of Exeter insists that “the introduction of vaccine passports poses essential questions for the protection of data privacy and human rights. It is not sufficient to develop technical solutions for the verification of people’s health status,” adding, “the risks of deploying such technologies must be anticipated and mitigated as much as possible”.

For those of you living in the UK, you can use this NHS link to book an appointment to be vaccinated if at the current level of eligibility.