China Has Just Launched Coronavirus Vaccine Passport – Here’s How It Works

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Mar 09 2021
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Bahrain has already introduced it. The United States and the United Kingdom are still considering it, while the European Union is working on it. Yes, travellers will soon have to add a new item to their travel list, without which they may not be allowed to fly. Besides air ticket, money and passport, passengers will have to produce proof of vaccination – Coronavirus passport.


China, the country that has successfully defeated the pandemic, has just rolled out a health certificate programme for Chinese citizens travelling internationally. The digital certificate – International Health Certificate – is available on Chinese social media platform WeChat. Citizens can register for the certificate on a mini programme within WeChat, which was launched on Monday (March 8).


The certificate contains data like a traveller’s Covid-19 vaccination status, the vaccine manufacturer and type, as well as nucleic acid and antibody test results. The passport, available in both digital and paper formats, was introduced by China’s foreign ministry to help promote world economic recovery and facilitate cross-border travel.

Coronavirus - Covid-19 Passport

Beijing is still working with other countries to get the country’s Coronavirus passport recognised. But domestically, the “QR health codes” on WeChat are already widely used to gain access to public transport and other facilities. This is actually an extension of an existing system used to track a user’s location and to check if a user has been in close contact with a confirmed case.


When the travel restrictions on the capital city of Wuhan was lifted last year, only people deemed free from contagion risk – those who can show a QR code that states “green code” issued by the provincial government to indicate that they are healthy – were allowed to leave. The colour-based QR code on the mobile phones is a health coding system which comes in red, yellow and green.


While a green code allows its holder to travel unrestricted in China, someone with a yellow code may be asked to stay home for 7 days while red means a two-week quarantine. According to officials, a yellow or red code may be assigned to someone who has had contact with an infected person, visited a virus hot zone or diagnosed as a confirmed Coronavirus patient.

Coronavirus - China Health Code - Covid-19 Vaccine Passport - International Health Certificate

The same concept is now being used by the Chinese government in the vaccine passport with a small twist that includes an “encrypted QR code” in order for authorities to obtain a traveller’s health information. However, the Coronavirus passport is not mandatory, for now. The Chinese health authorities are also studying whether vaccinated travellers to China could be exempted from 14 days of quarantine.


Prior to the introduction of the Coronavirus health certificate, Foreign Minister Wang Yi revealed that China is in discussion with other countries over mutual recognition of Covid-19 vaccinations, arguably one of the biggest challenges. In late February, EU leaders held discussions over the possibility of issuing vaccine “green pass” to EU residents to help resume travel within the continent.


Denmark and Sweden are working on developing their own health passports, while Britain said it was looking at the pros and cons of digital passports. It’s unknown whether vaccination will become a factor in the U.S. travel requirements under the Biden administration. So far, the U.S.’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has yet to issue any guidance.

Coronavirus - Europe Covid-19 Vaccine Passport

China plans to vaccinate 40% of its population of 1.4 billion by the end of July, up from the current 3.56%. The U.S. said it could achieve 90% herd immunity by August and proposed an opening of travel between the U.S. and China by then. But many disease experts are not sure about vaccine passports simply because it remains unclear if vaccinated individuals can or can’t still spread the virus.


The International Air Travel Association (IATA), which has 290 airline members, is due to launch a travel app this month that will allow travellers to upload a picture of their vaccination documents, from which immigration authorities and airlines can verify. While tourism-dependent countries like Thailand, Spain and Greece are excited about vaccine passport, others are not.


Countries like Belgium, France, and Germany have adopted a more cautious approach. In France, where polls show roughly half of the population is hesitant about receiving an injection, it’s a tricky issue due to the possibility of discrimination against unvaccinated people. For the same reason, the WHO (World Health Organization) has so far declined to support a vaccine travel certificate.

Coronavirus - South Africa Covid-19 New Variant Virus

More importantly, the WHO and many are worried that new variants of the disease will spread if people are allowed to cross borders again at this stage – even if they are vaccinated. Deepti Gurdasani, a senior lecturer at the Queen Mary University of London, said – “From a scientific perspective, this doesn’t make sense at all right now. These kinds of things lead to a false sense of security.”


Still, there’s another issue with vaccine passport, even in China. People are concerned that some sort of surveillance or tracking system will be used by the authorities to track all the Chinese citizens. In the same breath, the implications for human rights, privacy and surveillance could be some of the main issues faced by U.S. in introducing a similar Coronavirus passport.


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The world is in a lockdown. International travel is restricted, meaning international trade is limited, meaning most countries are depending on domestic consumption to keep its economy afloat. This is not going to be sustainable.

The vaccine passport is the way forward internationally, not just for personal travel but for international trade and commerce. So, China and other countries looking in this direction is doing the right thing.

The greatest hurdle is political, not medical. The US, UK and EU are not keen to support this idea because they want to be the ones who come up with the idea and lead it globally, but they have lost the first-mover advantage. Expect them to throw heaps of hurdles on this vaccine passport initiative by China and other smaller countries.

What needs to happen is for China, and other countries, like Singapore, Thailand, etc. to just go ahead and set up a travel bubble among themselves.

This red-herring about “privacy” really has to be binned. All of us are being monitored in one way or another, especially in this digital world. Even in the “free world” and the “not so free” world. Did you see that CCTV at the shopping mall that you just walked into? If you do not intend to do anything against any laws, why keep looking for monsters under your bed? Sounds naive but seriously, most of us are just minions. The “oppressive” governments have more important issues to deal with and much bigger fish to catch.

“… but seriously, most of us are just minions”

Yes, “seriously” most Malaysians “think” and behave like fcuking sheep…

And are happy to have well-deserved turd-rate monkeys run their miserable lives and longkang deep thinkers think for them, Alhamdulilah!

Malaysia is so blessed… Or so fcuked up, depending on who’s saddled with looking at the horse sh*t called Malaysian ignorant genius aka Makaysiafcukingboleh, Ameen…

With the usual Malaysian paranoia about anything and everything, I would not, however, be all that concerned about being surveilled and tracked.

We’ve had Malaysiaboleh tried that for one large unit of a person Jho Low, resulted in him being spotted or tracked to or in at least Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, China, Hong Kong, China, Macau, to name a few or many.

Our fcuking Keystone Mossad even knew he had has disguises, one of them à face changes, one of them to look a mystical old man from kingdom Zok – or at least, a Chinese fantasy movie.

If our Mossad or James Bonds or Jason Burkes cannot grab hold of a gigantic fella having, for years, a whale of a time spending our money, don’t expect them to be able to notice any of you Ah Beng, Ali, or Subramabiam Samyverapanwallah even if you dutifully check into a police station. So there’s no need for any concern or panic or the disappointment you may have to lift your fcuking face buried in a pile of lovely nasi lemak, and briefly stop eating out of the typical Malaysian anxiety and nervousness.

I hope the vaccination PAS pot will be both difficult to apply for even with the exchange of quite many large cups or even buckets of halal kopi under the table. I hope it will be expensive too, that would limit the number of our monkeys travelling even domestically, I just can’t stand our uncivilised kiasu monkeys rushing in and out of airplanes – and visibly unable to hurry to use their phones.

Well, I suppose for Malaysia the PAS pot would not be relevant for anything since there’s nothing much we can rush to negotiate and sell abroad, nobody is madly in love with our palm oil or birds’ nests or durians. I suspect any delay over the issue of the the issue of the PAS pot will be which politician gets to make what money for the fcuking document you will have to carry, Alhamdulilah!

As usual, with Malaysians, there would be the usual mad rush to get the vaccination PAS pot, thé Malaysian wan would be with the weird design, funny colour, comes in either twenty page- or ninety-page versions.

Btw, I like to tell you pathetic fcuking monkeys stories – and they are true, I was once asked by the border authority (imigeresen) of a certain EU country if we still have tigers. I realised he was looking at our Mickey Mouse paspot crest design, I said no, we only have vultures. The angmoh monkey didn’t get my serious answer… I bet you pathetic monkeys wouldn’t either…

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