Even before the coronavirus pandemic, the European Union was developing a plan to boost confidence in vaccines that included combatting "myths," identifying opposition and even creating a "common vaccination card-passport" for all EU citizens.
The card, according to a "Roadmap on Vaccination" by the European Commission, is to be the subject of a proposal in as little as 20 to 24 months, reports the website OffGuardian.
The scope and power of various vaccination schemes has been under review since as early as 2018, and "the endpoint of the roadmap is, among many other things, to introduce a 'common vaccination card/passport' for all EU citizens," the website says.
The "passport" is to take "into account potentially different national vaccination schedules" and be "compatible with electronic immunization information systems," according to the EU.
OffGuardian said: "To underline the point: The 'vaccination roadmap' is not an improvised response to the Covid19 pandemic, but rather an ongoing plan with roots going back to 2018, when the EU released a survey of the public’s attitude toward vaccines."
The survey was released in a report called "State of Vaccine Confidence in the EU 2018."
"While this survey shows that a majority of citizens in the EU still believe in the importance, effectiveness and safety of vaccines, it has also revealed important declines in confidence in certain countries since 2016, highlighting the need for continuous monitoring, preparedness and response plans," OffGuardian said.
"In a number of EU countries, anti-vaccine groups, aided by social and mainstream media, are gaining traction and have started influencing politics and political elections. The examples of Sweden and Poland more generally illustrate how confidence can decline in any country, even those with optimal coverage rates and successful vaccination programs."
Off Guardian said that even health-care professionals were having doubts with certain vaccines.
It must be "recognized for use across borders."
The coordination for the card is the subject of a feasibility study, the report said.