Immunity passports may violate American Disabilities Act


Immunity passports, under consideration in a number of countries, may violate US disability law, enable discrimination, and create a two-tiered exclusionary society. They are not really comparable to vaccination cards for diseases such as yellow fever or meningitis, which are required for entry into a number of countries or universities, because in those cases vaccines are available. Antibody testing for COVID-19, however, has many uncertainties, as the extent to which antibodies confer immunity to the illness and its duration are both unknown. The American Disabilities Act could be interpreted by the courts to classify lack of COVID-19 immunity as a protected impairment and bar employers from discriminating against workers on that basis; however, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has classified COVID-19 as a direct threat to the workplace and allows employers to test staff for infection before they return to work and exclude any who test positive. In addition, introducing immunity passports poses ethical concerns, such as encouraging people to intentionally seek infection so as to qualify, uneven enforcement, and fraud.

Writer: Seema Mohapatra
Publication: The Conversation

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