Vaccination Passports

Image by Markus Winkler from Pixabay.
May 25, 2021

Download slides

Download Sandy Porter slides

As health services steadily vaccinate their populations, people will want to travel again – taking holidays, visiting family, and doing business around the world. But allowing unvaccinated people to travel could infect unprotected populations and encourage the virus to mutate: as the world slowly opens back up, both national governments and private sector travel providers are likely to insist on proof that travellers have had their jabs.

This is already becoming a difficult political issue, with concerns about the implications for those who remain unvaccinated. Ultimately, though, many border authorities and private businesses will want confidence that people have been vaccinated, and systems will emerge to meet that need; the risk is that dozens of systems and standards appear, creating problems around mutual recognition, duplication and data transfer.

Many countries are already acting – with Israel, Denmark and Sweden developing ‘vaccination passports’, and the EU considering a bloc-wide vaccination card. At this webinar, civil service leaders and external experts from around the world discussed how best to meet the public and private sectors’ interests in verifying individuals’ vaccination histories – both during international travel, and within each country. And they explored the challenges – such as those around international collaboration, system capabilities and market regulation – that must be addressed to find a way forward.


Webinar chair: Siobhan Benita, former UK senior civil servant

Siobhan Benita was a senior civil servant with over 15 years’ Whitehall experience. She worked in many of the major delivery departments, including Transport, Environment, Health and Local Government. She also had senior roles at the heart of Government in the Cabinet Office and HM Treasury, including supporting the then Cabinet Secretary, Lord O’Donnell to lead work on Civil Service reform and strategy. Siobhan left the Civil Service to run as an independent candidate in the Mayor of London election. She subsequently joined her alma mater, Warwick University as Chief Strategy Officer of Warwick in London and Co-Director of the Warwick Policy Lab.

Mats Snäll, Chief Digital Officer, Digital Development, Agency for Digital Government (DIGG), Sweden

Mats Snäll, Chief Digital Officer, joined the Swedish Agency for Digital Government (DIGG) in December 2020 to lead the Digital Development division and inspire and change manage the digital development in the public sector. Quite recently DIGG got the government assignment to lead the project to develop the Swedish vaccination certificate.
Mats Snäll has a long record of development of businesses with the use of new technology within the land administration sector, both national and international. He has been in positions like project manager, programme manager, project owner, development director and chief digital officer in over 20 years. He recently held the position as Chief Innovation Officer at the Swedish Mapping, Cadaster and Land Registration Agency (Lantmäteriet).

Anett Numa, Digital Transformation Adviser, e-Estonia Briefing Centre, Estonia

Having lived and studied in different countries, Anett has learned to appreciate living in a digital society. Anett believes that all processes and structures of public services should be accessible and simple for every single citizen. Based on her academic background in political science, Anett focuses on enhancing good cooperation between the public and private sector to create a comprehensive and supportive environment. Her goal as a Digital Transformation Adviser at the e-Estonia Briefing Centre is to explain the Estonian digitalisation experience and thus inspire leaders and decision-makers alike to create a better tomorrow.

Dr Steffen Augsberg, Professor of Public Law and Council Member, German Ethics Council, Germany

Steffen Augsberg studied law at the universities of Trier and Munich. From 2000 to 2002 he was employed as research associate of Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Eberhard Schmidt-Assmann at the University of Heidelberg where he also received a Ph.D. in jurisprudence (2002). After a short stint as an associate with an international law firm in 2004, he worked as assistant professor at the University of Cologne’s Institute for Constitutional Law (Prof. Dr. Wolfram Höfling, M.A.), teaching constitutional and administrative law. In 2009 and 2010 he spent 5 months as a Visiting Fellow at the Institute of European and Comparative Law (University of Oxford). In 2011 he was awarded the post doctoral degree (Habilitation) and authorised to teach public law, european law and legal theory. The same year he was appointed to a Chair for Public Law and Health Care Law at Saarland University (Saarbruecken). Since 2013 he is Professor at the Faculty of Law at the Justus-Liebig-University in Giessen where he holds a Chair for Public Law.

He has written widely on the national constitutional and administrative law as well as the law of the European Union and legal theory and has served as an adviser to various state institutions and private companies. In 2016 and again in 2020 he was elected a member of the German Ethics Council by the Federal Parliament (Bundestag).

Steven Koh, Director, Government Digital Service (Agile Consulting and Engineering), Government Technology Agency, Singapore

Mr. Steven Koh is a Director at the Government Digital Services team in GovTech. He builds high-performing agile delivery teams and whole of government digital products. Notable projects include the Business Grants Portal, MyCareersFuture Portal and COVID projects such as Safe Entry and HealthCerts. He is passionate about building open source products and played an integral role in the publishing of the Open Attestation framework in 2018. OpenCerts, HealthCerts and TradeTrust are built on Open Attestation.

Steven is also one of the pioneers of the Agile Community in Singapore which now boasts over 10,000 members. He is an optimistic technologist and curious about the intersection of science, technology, history, nature, civilization, and human spirit. He writes for leisure and articles can be found at Steven graduated from the School of Computing in the National University of Singapore.

Sandy Porter, Co-Founder & Executive Director, Avoco Secure

Sandy Porter is the Co-Founder and Exec Director of Avoco Secure. His work encompasses the areas identity, verification, attribute sharing, privacy, security, Open banking, blockchain and cloud computing solutions for consumer and citizen online services. He is an internationally respected keynote speaker, panelist and expert advisor. For nearly twenty years he has promoted the development and deployment of user centric identity solutions for online services in his roles as an Identity Commons Steward, Director of the Information Card Foundation, EU R&D assessor and Moderator and through the UK Government Cabinet Office (DSG) work groups.