An Immunity Passport After COVID-19 And How Digital Health C
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Immunity passport is gaining attention as a means to slowly and safely getting things back to “normal”; or what we will consider normal post-COVID-19.

• What is an immunity passport?

This certifies that someone is immune to SARS-CoV-2, by performing an antibody test and a virus test. The person will get an immunity pass if the antibody test is positive (competent immune response) and a negative virus test (no longer carrying the virus).

• Tech-savvy passports

UK-based CoronaPass, an app stores the user’s immune status data obtained by a healthcare authority. It presents a QR code that an official can then scan to check the user’s immunity status. This can limit contact with other forms of an immunity certificate like a hard copy. This Encrypted database is accessible only to governments or companies with access to the “requesting” side of the app. But what about other competitors which will sprout if demand arises? Will they also securely store patients’ data?

• Is it the solution?

A study showed that immunity against SARS lasts an average of two years. But there have been reports of some recovered patients already testing positive again for COVID-19. So for this specific virus, we have no definite answer as of now.

If someone is infected with the virus but their body hasn’t yet developed the antibodies the test checks, then the person will miss their immunity passport chance. Moreover, antibodies can avert sickness but might not protect by an infection altogether.

• When tests need testing

Test accuracy needs to be verified via trials, but even if highly accurate tests are developed and tested, we are bound to see cases of false positives (people incorrectly identified as immune) and false negatives (people incorrectly identified as not immune).

There may be cross-reactivity between the antibodies for SARS-CoV-2 and other circulating coronaviruses, meaning a positive result might not indicate past exposure to SARS-CoV-2 but maybe another coronavirus instead

• Yet another story of the haves and the have-nots?

The fact that such an initiative will highlight inequality issues cannot be ignored. A WHO report in late April showed that only a small fraction of the population, as few as 2% or 3%, have the antibodies to indicate a past infection with SARS-CoV-2. Only those privileged few will be allowed to go out? What about those who cannot afford to get tested?

While people are struggling to make the ends meet during a lockdown, if the only way to earn a living is with a pass, some might want to expose themselves to the virus so as to gain immunity. It could even sprout the need for forged immunity passports and a thriving black market. These will further put the population at risk, or lead to a second outbreak.

a●●●●h g●●●a and 9 others like this9 shares
Dr. N●●●●a G●●●a
Dr. N●●●●a G●●●a Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Not a very sound medico technical way of assessing health status- health is a combination of genes pool, mental state amd physical wellbeing thus making all illness psychosomatic in a long run, healthy mind and healthy body is perfect health-only very few in today can fulfill this criteria on world map.
May 12, 2020Like2