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Parliamentary questions
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26 August 2020
E-003785/2020(ASW)
Answer given by Ms Kyriakides
on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-003785/2020

The Commission is aware that some countries are considering the use of so-called ‘immunity passports’ or ‘health passports’ as part of the lifting of confinement measures.

However, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) advises that there is currently limited evidence on lasting immunity(1). In its Risk Assessment of 11 June 2020, ECDC states that most persons infected with coronavirus develop antibodies after infection(2).

The longevity of the antibody response has not been defined. The quantity, quality and duration of the human immune response to COVID-19 is presently unclear. In addition, there is a lack of validated serology tests that can ascertain immunity to the virus.

As a consequence of the current knowledge, there is not enough scientific basis for using serology or other immune markers to determine access to public facilities or take decisions on travel or employment. The Commission is therefore not considering a role for so-called ‘immunity passports’ in preparation for future outbreaks of the pandemic.

The World Health Organisation has also cautioned against using immunity certificates(3). The Commission will continue to explore this issue, always placing scientific evidence as the basis for public health policy. The Commission is also helping Member States to coordinate national responses to the pandemic through the Health Security Committee.

(1)https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/sites/default/files/documents/Considerations-related-to-measures-for-travellers-reduce-spread-COVID-19-in-EUEEA.pdf
(2)https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/publications-data/rapid-risk-assessment-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19-pandemic-tenth-update
(3)https://www.who.int/news-room/commentaries/detail/immunity-passports-in-the-context-of-covid-19
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