Vaccine Passports and Proof of Vaccination

A health officer checking vaccinations in 1931 to get past a checkpoint

In today’s short Medium article I’ll be discussing a short but brief history of vaccine passports (too much history to get into), why these measures we have today are nothing new and have been used hundreds of years ago in different countries.

I hope you enjoy today’s read and you’re more informed about vaccine passports.

➡️ Vaccine Passport definition
From an entry via Collins Dictionary: a certificate that shows the holder has been vaccinated against a particular disease and is therefore allowed to travel from one country or area to another. (Source:

➡️ Vaccine Passport Short History
In the 1950s with polio, not many people could do things and no one complained about “freedoms” being lost. Vaccine passports have never been a new concept, proof of vaccination was needed for some places in British India, in 1897 against the bubonic plague, the annual pilgrimage to the town of Pandharpur in the colonial Bombay province, Authorities decided to make proof of vaccination compulsory for pilgrims, 1885 required passengers to provide evidence that they had been vaccinated from smallpox. Whether at ports of entry including New York’s Ellis Island and San Francisco’s Angel Island or along the U.S. border with Canada or Mexico, officials expected border-crossers to prove their immunity. (Source for 1897 Bubonic Plague:
(Source for Smallpox:
(Source for 1885 in the USA:

As we can see from the above, well over 100 years ago these types of implementations were in place before, so people can travel safely without being in fear of transmitting anything on and other people’s health was not at risk but with the internet age today, the AVs seem to think freedoms are being lost. Due to this sole health measure put in place to protect people, it seems rather selfish AVs would prefer to have the luxuries that come with a capitalistic society over protecting those most vulnerable within society.

➡️ History of proving vaccination
The worlds very first International Certificate of Vaccination against anything on the planet was for Smallpox which was developed by the 1944 International Sanitary Convention. (Source:

Then in 1969, the International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis was introduced against Yellow Fever, with a new health document replacing the certificate from 1969 in 2005, with a quote from a WHO article “As of 15 June 2007, the model international certificate of vaccination or prophylaxis contained in Annex 6 of the International Health Regulations (2005) replaced the international certificate of vaccination or revaccination against yellow fever contained in appendix 2 of the IHR (1969).”
The document and advice that follow are designed to guide and facilitate the implementation of this new health document by States Parties to the IHR (2005).” (Source:

Most countries need this certificate of yellow card BEFORE you even travel. (Source:

Even today for certain countries you also need proof of vaccination against polio, diphtheria, malaria, cholera, tuberculosis, Hepatitis B and a load more, but no one batted an eyelid or moaned about “freedoms being lost” about these before they were allowed to travel internationally. (Source:

➡️ Conclusion
As we can see from this article proof of vaccination or vaccine passports has been implemented ages ago and even the following countries need proof of vaccination against meningitis as one example include: The Gambia, Indonesia, Lebanon, Libya, the Philippines to name a few. Covid-19 will just be added to this existing list. Nothing bad at all.

💥 Thanks for reading, Lawrence. Please consider a small contribution, in the form of a beer as all articles are created in my small amount of spare time:



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Lawrence Robinson

Passionate about evidence-based scientific information and tackling falsehoods that thrive on social media.