Health-tech coalition developing digital Covid ‘passport’

Effort seeks to allow people to ‘safely return to travel, work, school and life, while protecting their data privacy’

Covid 19 Vaccine 2 1A digital vaccination “passport” proving people have been vaccinated against Covid-19 is under development by a group of technology and health companies and organizations.

The Vaccination Credential Initiative – a coalition of that  includes Microsoft, Oracle, Cigna, Salesforce and the Mayo Clinic – wants to establish standards to verify whether someone has received the vaccine in order to prevent people from falsely claiming that they have. The idea is that governments and a wide range of businesses, including airlines, will require proof that people have received the shot.

According to the VCI, the current vaccination record system does not readily support convenient access, control and sharing of verifiable vaccination records. The coalition wants to empower individuals to obtain an encrypted digital copy of their immunization credentials to store in a digital wallet of their choice. Those without smartphones could receive paper printed with QR codes containing W3C verifiable credentials.

By working with health IT companies, such as Epic and Cerner in the US, the new system will be able to draw from electronic medical records to create the digital certificate.

The coalition is basing its effort on work already done by one its members, The Commons Project Foundation, a Swiss nonprofit that developed the CommonPass, an internationally accepted digital certificate to prove that travelers have tested negative for Covid-19. The certificate is currently in use by all three major airline alliances.

“The goal of the Vaccination Credential Initiative is to empower individuals with digital access to their vaccination records so they can use tools like CommonPass to safely return to travel, work, school and life, while protecting their data privacy,” said Paul Meyer, CEO of The Commons Project Foundation. “Open standards and interoperability are at the heart of VCI’s efforts and we look forward to supporting the World Health Organization and other global stakeholders in implementing and scaling open global standards for health data interoperability.”

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