Immunity Passports for COVID-19: Scientific, Ethical, Policy and Design Implications

Wilson, Kumanan | $236,858

Ontario Bruyère Research Institute 2020 CIHR Operating Grant

Around the world countries have taken serious steps to slow the spread of coronavirus pandemic. Some countries are considered using “immunity passports” as restrictions begin to lift to show who is immune to the virus and can potentially safely leave social isolation. It could particularly be valuable for identifying potentially immune front-line workers to help reduce the spread of disease in these settings. While offering a potential partial solution to lockdowns the approach is frought with legal, ethical and scientific concerns. Furthermore, the Canadian landscape is unique and any solution that is considered will need to be tailored for our setting both from a legal/ethical/policy perspective as well as a technology perspective. We will evaluate the potential use of an immunity passport in Canada. To do this we will look at immunity passports already being used or contemplated in other countries and consider the public health, ethical and legal implications of an immunity pass in Canada. We will consider whether an immunity pass should be used in Canada and if so for whom. We will provide guidance on the design of a potential Canadian digital immunity pass. This project is an important step in carefully examining the issue of immunity passes in a multi-disciplinary and un-biased manner.

With funding from the Government of Canada

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