Technology already here for ‘vaccine passport’

When COVID-19 vaccines are widely available, countries could require travelers be vaccinated before they visit.

The technology for ‘vaccine passports’ has already been created. 

The Common Project Foundation has developed one of the apps available, the CommonPass app The nonprofit has partnered with multiple airlines and healthcare providers.

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Instead of paperwork that could be faked, the app links to electronic data from a medical provider to verify information. Then it generates a QR code that can be scanned at airports or other venues.

The app is already being used as a way to verify COVID-19 test results.

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"Primarily it’s countries and governments that are imposing testing requirements, but what’s also now happening is many venues- hotels and other organizations are beginning to do the same thing," said Commons Project CEO Paul Meyer.

It’s too soon to make predictions about what countries or businesses could require proof of vaccination. When asked what he would say to those who dislike the technology and vaccine requirements, Meyer noted vaccination requirements are not new.

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"There’s been a long history of vaccination requirements to travel," he said. "Many countries actually still require yellow fever vaccination to go to countries. I have to show my kids’ vaccination records to register for them for school every September. I think this is sort of another manifestation of that. Again, different communities, different institutions are going to make these decisions about whether or not to require either testing or vaccinations, we’re really just providing a platform that allows people to show they do satisfy those requirements where they’ve been put in place, but do it in a way that protects individual data privacy."