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If you want to travel in the next year, you may need a vaccine passport

Many companies and technology Groups have begun developing smartphone apps or systems for individuals to upload details of their Covid-19 tests and their vaccines, and create digital credentials that can be viewed for entry into concert venues, stadiums, movie theaters, offices, or even countries.

The Network of mutual trustIt is an initiative of The Commons Project and the non-profit Geneva-based World Economic Forum that has partnered with several airlines including Cathay Pacific, JetBlue, Lufthansa, Swiss Airlines, United Airlines, and Virgin Atlantic, as well as hundreds of health systems across the states. And the government of Aruba.
The CommonPass app Created by the group to allow users to upload medical data such as a Covid-19 test result or, ultimately, evidence of vaccination by a hospital or medical professional, Create a health certificate or pass in the form of a QR code that can be shown to the authorities without revealing sensitive information. For travel, the app lists health card requirements at the departure and arrival points based on the itinerary.
“You can get tested every time you cross a border. You can’t get vaccinated every time you cross borders,” Thomas Crampton, chief marketing and communications officer for The Commons Project, told CNN Business. He stressed the need for a simple and easy-to-transfer set of credentials, or “yellow digital card,” referring to Paper document Generally issued as evidence of vaccination.
Big tech companies are also getting into this business. IBM (IBM) He developed his own app, which is called Digital Health Card, Which allows companies and places to customize the indicators they may need to enter, including coronavirus tests, temperature checks, and vaccination records. Then the credentials corresponding to those indicators are stored in a mobile wallet.
IBM Health Pass creates online vaccine credentials that can be stored in a mobile wallet.

In an effort to meet one of the challenges of returning to normalcy after distributing vaccines on a large scale, developers may now have to face other challenges, ranging from privacy issues to representing the diverse effectiveness of different vaccines. But a more pressing challenge may simply be avoiding the disjointed implementation and mixed success of an earlier technology attempt to address a public health crisis: contact tracing apps.

Early in the pandemic, an Apple (AAPL) And the Google (Google) The rivalry between their smartphones put aside to work together Bluetooth-based system development To notify users if they have been exposed to someone with Covid-19. Many countries and state governments around the world have also developed and used their own applications.
“I think what faced the notification of some challenges was more partial enforcement options, and a lack of federal leadership … as each state had to go it alone, so each state had to find out independently,” said Jenny Wanger, who said. Leads exposure notification initiatives for Lynx Public Health Foundation, Which is a technology-focused organization that helps public health authorities around the world fight Covid-19.
To encourage better coordination this time around, the Linux Foundation has partnered with Covid-19 Credentials Initiative, A group of more than 300 people representing dozens of organizations across five continents It also works with IBM and CommonPass to help develop a set of global standards for vaccine certification applications.

“If we are successful, you should be able to say: I got a vaccination certificate on my phone that I got when I got vaccinated in a country, with a whole set of health management practices for them … I get on a plane to a completely different country, and then in that new country I present vaccination credentials so I can go to the concert that was being held indoors in which attendance was limited to those who showed they got vaccinated, ”said Brian Behlendorf, CEO. For the Linux Foundation.

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“It should be interoperable in the same way that e-mail is interoperable, He said in the same way that the web is interoperable. “At the moment, we’re in a situation where there are some moving parts that get us closer to that, but I think there’s a sincere commitment from everyone in the industry.”

Part of ensuring the widespread use of vaccine passports is the expense of the large subset of the world’s population that remains It does not use or have access to smartphones. A few companies within the Covid-19 Credentials Initiative are developing a smart card that forms a middle ground between traditional paper-based vaccine certificates and an online version that is easy to store and reproduce.

“For us it is [about] How digital credentials can be stored, can be provided, not only through smartphones but also in other ways to those people who do not have access to a stable internet and also who do not have smart phones, ”said Lucy Yang, Co-Leader of the Covid Credentials Initiative- 19. “We’re looking at it, and there are companies that are really doing promising.

CommonPass has partnered with several airlines to start rolling out its Health Credentials app on select international flights.

Once a vaccine passport is built, companies will need to make sure people are comfortable with using it. This means confronting concerns about handling private medical information.

The CommonPass, IBM, and Linux Foundation all emphasized privacy as the center of their initiatives. IBM says it allows users to control and consent to the use of their health data and allows them to choose the level of detail they want to provide to the authorities.

“Trust and transparency remain extremely important when developing a platform such as a digital health passport, or any solution that handles sensitive personal information,” the company said in a statement. Blog post. “Prioritizing privacy is an important priority for managing and analyzing data in response to these complex times.”

With vaccines manufactured by multiple companies in many countries in different stages of development, there are a lot of variables that passport makers will need to consider.

“You’re going to want an entry point – whether it’s a border or a place – to know, have you got the Pfizer vaccine, have you got the Russian vaccine, have you got the Chinese vaccine, so they can make a decision accordingly,” Crampton said. The variation could be wide: which vaccine Developed by the Chinese pharmaceutical giant Sinopharm, for example, It has an efficacy of 86% Against Covid-19, while vaccines produced by Pfizer and Moderna Each has up to 95% efficacy..

Dr Julie Parsonet, an infectious disease specialist at Stanford University, says it’s also unclear how effective vaccines are in stopping transmission of the virus. So, while a vaccine passport app shows that you received the shot, it may not be a guarantee to attend an event or ride a ride safely.

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“We still don’t know if the vaccinated people could transmit the infection or not,” she told CNN Business. “Until this is clarified, we will not know if the” passports “will be effective.”

However, Behlendorf predicts that vaccine passports will be introduced and approved very quickly once everything is in place, and he expects that a variety of applications that can work together will be “widely available” during the first half of 2021.

He said “Rest assured, the nerds of her.”

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