The second ASEAN-BAC Healthcare Working Group (HWG) Meeting 2021 (chaired by Dr. Khor Swee Kheng) was attended by members from ASEAN-BAC and Joint Business Councils (JBCs). Meeting attendees discussed a roadmap for the HWG in 2021, leading up to the ASEAN Summit in October 2021. Discussion points included the feasibility of a regional travel bubble utilizing technology, vaccine certificates and antibody passports. Any platforms should be interoperable and tied to existing public health measures like contact tracing and appropriate movement tracking.
Dr. Khor emphasised that while a vaccine passport was necessary in facilitating cross-border travel bubble, it would not be sufficient as national authorities may also want to see some kind of antibody passports.
The first ASEAN-BAC Healthcare Working Group (HWG) Meeting in 2021 chaired by Dr. Khor was held on Friday and was attended by members from the Joint Business Councils (JBCs) and ASEAN-BAC.
Outlined by Tan Sri Munir Majid, Chairman of ASEAN-BAC Malaysia, the meeting discussed three priorities for ASEAN-BAC HWG 2021:
- Creating a Regional Travel Bubble with an antibody/vaccination passport and regional contact tracing infrastructure
- Implementing the Medical Device Directive 2015
- Establishing a vaccine pooled procurement mechanism within ASEAN
YB Rozaimeriyanty Abd. Rahman, Chair of ASEAN-BAC 2021, showed her strong support by emphasising that the ASEAN-BAC HWG needs to be reactivated to address the inclusivity in the healthcare sector for the ASEAN’s economic recovery.