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Airlines discussing requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination for passengers: report

Airlines discussing requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination for passengers: report
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Qantas, one of the largest airlines in Australia, is reportedly making plans to require passengers to get a coronavirus vaccine prior to traveling internationally, a policy other carriers could also implement.

The airline's chief executive, Alan Joyce, announced on Monday that Qantas will begin to discuss changing its terms and conditions to make the vaccinations mandatory for any person looking to travel into or out of Australia, according to The New York Times, which added that he also said he believes that other international carriers will follow suit as soon as vaccines become available.

“I’ve talked to my colleagues at other airlines across the globe, and I think it’s going to be a common theme across the board,” Joyce told the newspaper.

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Joyce also reportedly said that many airlines are mulling over the possibility of an electronic passport that would indicate whether a traveler has been vaccinated and which vaccine they received. The International Air Transport Association recently announced that it has entered the final stages of development of a digital health pass that will report air passengers' COVID-19 testing and vaccination information to airlines and governments, the Times noted. 

A vaccine is not currently available and will likely not be widely distributed in Australia until 2021; however, the government has stated that vaccines will be mandatory in the country, according to the newspaper.

Drugmaker AstraZeneca just announced on Monday that its vaccine candidate is up to 90 percent effective. Pfizer and Moderna have announced 95 percent efficacy rates for their vaccine candidates.

President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden to hold virtual bilateral meeting with Mexican president More than 300 charged in connection to Capitol riot Trump Jr.: There are 'plenty' of GOP incumbents who should be challenged MORE and his administration have maintained that once a vaccine is available it will be distributed to Americans free of charge.