Contagion Live News Network: Benefits & Pitfalls of an Immunity Passport


A summary of today's top stories.

Hello and thank you for joining Contagion. I’m assistant editor Grant Gallagher, here with a review of our coverage from May 13, 2020.

Although it’s still uncertain just how much immunity is conferred by recovery from coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19), the prospect of certifying an immunity-based "passport," or "license" related to pandemic restrictions has been floated in countries around the globe as a potential reopening measure.

Unlike past immunity certificate programs that have been somewhat limited in scope, like yellow fever vaccination certificate to travel to affected regions, or evidence of being tuberculosis-free to work in healthcare facilities or schools, an immunity certificate program for COVID-19 could have wide-ranging effects according to a pair of essays in the Journal of the American Medical Association that we covered today.

"Conditioned 'privileges' could include a greater range of fundamental civil liberties and opportunities like freedom of association, worship, work, education and travel.", the authors noted. This would potentially put new parts of everyday social life under surveillance, highlighting the need for caution adopting sweeping measures.

We also featured an interview with Dr. Paul Sax, who discusses remdesivir, scientific literature in the age of COVID-19, and the pandemic's long-lasting effects on the future of health care.

And in non-COVID news, a recent study highlighted that Medicaid Doesn't Cover All 13 Recommended Adult Vaccines in Most States. Barriers to recommended vaccine coverage for low-income American adults include disparity in Medicaid programs and low reimbursement amounts.

For more on all of these stories and other infectious disease news, visit For Contagion, I’m Grant Gallagher, thanks for watching.

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