Nuffield Webinar: Ethical implications of antibody testing and ‘immunity certification’

Two Human Figures Walking Across a Passport filled with Visa Stamps

The idea of issuing Covid-19 immunity passports or certifications to allow ‘immune’ people to travel, return to work, regain a sense of normality etc. has recently garnered a lot of attention. In response, the Nuffield Council on Bioethics hosted a webinar entitled ‘Ethical implications of antibody testing and ‘immunity certification‘.

Together with Professor Bobbie Farsides and Professor Dr Steffen Augsbergour project’s PI Dr Agomoni Ganguli-Mitra discussed which ethical considerations should be taken into account as goverments consider implementing an immunity passport policy.

While Professor Farsides discusses the philosophical prerogative of questioning whether just because something is (scientifically) possible it should actually be considered as a viable and justifiable policy, Dr Ganguli-Mitra explores how an immunity certification system might exacerbate existing inequalities and/or create new ones. Professor Dr Augsberg then shares his experience of working in the German Ethics Council working group on antibody testing and immunity certifications.

You can watch the Webinar on the Nuffield Council’s Website here or on YouTube.

Further Resources

R. Bhopal, ‘Patients who have recovered from covid-19: issuing certificates and offering voluntary registration‘, 2020 The BMJ. 

Nuffield Council on Bioethics, ‘Covid-19 antibody testing and ‘immunity certification’: a discussion paper‘, 23 June 2020.

Nuffield Council on Bioethics, ‘Covid-19 testing and ‘immunity certification’: rapid policy briefing‘, 18 June 2020.

G. D Togni and others, ‘Imagining Life with ‘Immunity Passports’: Mangaing Risk During a Pandemic‘, (Discover Society, 1 June 2020).

WHO, ‘‘Immunity passports’ inthe context of Covid-19: Scientific Brief‘, 24 April 2020.

Image by mana5280 on Unsplash.