Ken Knezick, Island Dreams Travel - Copyright 2021
The concept of a vaccination record is nothing new. Decades ago, along with my U.S. passport I carried a bright yellow immunization card. This proved I had been vaccinated against such scourges as yellow fever and smallpox. Some countries still require this proof before entry is permitted.
Covid-19 has brought the concept to the fore once again. This pandemic has already lasted longer than any would have imagined. Infections are spiking around the USA and the globe. It has just been announced that all visitors and all residents travelling back to England will need proof of a recent negative Covid-19 test.
With limited medical resources, it is no surprise that "third world countries" are also desirious of holding the infection at bay. These include many of our favorite Asia-Pacific diving destinations, such as Indonesia, Fiji, Philippines, and the Solomon Islands. To avoid Covid-19 infection, their borders remain completely closed to tourism.
Fortunately, access to Covid-19 testing has ramped up and immunization against this disease is now becoming available. Certified proof of this vaccination may likely become a requirement for international travel. Hence the concept of a vaccination passport.
Such a record of vaccination will initially be on paper, but digital versions are already in the works. These will be designed to carry proof of vaccination as well as to certify the dates of negative Covid-19 test results. This proof of testing is already a requirement for entry into many Caribbean countries on our diving map.
I believe in science and, despite all the conflicting messaging and political agendas, maintain confidence in our bonafide medical experts. Others may wish to believe that more than 350,000 Americans and almost two million people around the world have died of a hoax. Either way, the countries we love to visit for scuba diving are taking this pandemic very seriously. If you hope to safely resume your dive travels, I encourage you to schedule your Covid-19 vaccinations as soon as possible and hold on to that vaccination record as carefully as you do your passport.
My first vaccination is scheduled for next week. Hope you will be able to accomplish the same shortly, and we can all think about going diving again. Until that time, let's continue to stay positive...and test negative.
Cheers (and a couple of shots), Ken Knezick - Island Dreams Travel