August 9, 2020

Experts from the Generalitat raise the controversial “accreditation of immunity”



The “accreditation of immunity” with respect to the coronavirus that has been put on the table by the working group led by the epidemiologist Oriol Mitjà in the document that he has submitted to the Catalan government for unconfinement is proving controversial in that it could violate the European regulations on the use of personal data, among others.

Perhaps that is why the Government wanted to make it clear today that it has not yet validated this “immunity accreditation” with respect to COVID-19, which it has equated to the current vaccination card and that would be reflected on paper or through an application.

The Consell Executiu examined on Tuesday the document “Tools and strategies for the lack of control during the coronavirus outbreak in Catalonia”, a work by experts recruited by the Generalitat and led by Mitjà.

The document, 46 pages and to which Efe has had access, contains a series of measures that Budó, in the telematic press conference after the meeting of the Govern, has made it clear that they are only proposals in the face of a plan of unconfinement ” definitive “that they plan to approve in an extraordinary Consell Executiu this week.

In the text, the experts propose an “immunity accreditation”, which they say would be “equivalent to the current vaccination card” and that has the purpose of “accelerating the return to work, schools and social life safely”.

Experts point out that this accreditation would combine different tests to determine the immune status and infection capacity of each individual, combining serological and contact data.

“The results of the tests would be included in a digital certificate or immunity accreditation system, on paper or via the app, with a simple algorithm of colors”, so that this “serological passport” would allow access to “spaces with high risk of transmissions “, indicates the document.

The working group cites among these spaces hospitals, companies, public buildings and airplanes, which people could access if they have the green light “anonymously” once validated through a QR reader, the document details. .

Faced with the stir caused by the possible existence of a certificate of immunity, Budó has made it clear that, on the part of the Govern, “there is no decision taken” in this regard.

In any case, he has ensured that everything that can be applied in this area by the Generalitat will be “taking into account ethical and deontological codes”.

The same document by Dr. Mitjà also considers that this accreditation, if applied, should be an “emergency and extraordinary” measure, with a “determined period of time” to disappear when possible.

They also consider that bioethics, equity, privacy and universality criteria should be taken into account, guaranteeing compliance with European standards in the use of personal data.

Depending on the results of the tests, their status would be accredited based on three colors: red would be for people with a positive PCR or in direct contact with a positive one; orange, for those with PCR and negative serological test, that is, healthy but who have not generated antibodies, and green for people who have already passed the infection and who “possibly” would be immunized.

The reds will be in isolation for at least 14 days or until the PCR is negative; oranges will be able to maintain social interaction and work with precautions and greens will be able to do it normally.

The document plans to do the tests in hospitals, primary care centers, pharmacies, from the vehicle at authorized points and in mutual or private ones.

The group of experts acknowledges that accountability mechanisms should be established as a way to “forcefully avoid personal data markets and data control by big technology and the state.”

The implementation of the certificate would be carried out once the prevalence of seropositivity of the population is known and the results of the acute tests (PCR), which would be carried out monthly, and serological, every four months would be combined.

People with symptoms, infected contacts, health workers, inmates in residences and workers facing the public would have priority in carrying out the PCR tests, while the rest of the workers and the general population over the age of 16 were given they would only do serological tests.

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