Health / Immunity Passports - A Study of The Pros & Cons

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Re: Health / Immunity Passports - A Study of The Pros & Cons

Post by trader32176 »

Immunized? There’s an app for that


A “yellow card” for the digital age, or a means to a new social divide?

If you’re of a certain age, or if you travel to exotic places, you’ll be familiar with the “yellow card.” Issued by the World Health Organization originally for use in yellow fever epidemics, this folding, pocket sized card displays an individual’s immunization history for international border crossings. Fast forward to 2021. Now we’re digital, of course, so we need a mobile phone app to document whether we’ve been tested for—and soon, immunized against—covid-19.1

Ideally, we would have a universally adopted credential to securely document and share negative coronavirus tests and, ultimately, immunization status. This would facilitate the safe reopening of public transportation and venues where many people gather (such as sports arenas and concert halls). To this end, an international non-profit organization, the Commons Project, convened a meeting in July 2020, co-sponsored by the World Economic Forum and the Rockefeller Foundation. They’re now at work testing an app called the CommonPass (, which is intended to be “a secure and verifiable way [for travelers] to document their health status as they travel and cross borders.”

United Airlines has tested the CommonPass on flights between the US and London and is reportedly planning to use the app regularly on some international flights, as are four other airlines.1 Currently, passengers download the app, get directed to an approved testing center and, after testing negative for coronavirus, receive a confirmation code to show before boarding. In the future, we are told the app will also securely display verified immunization status.

For-profit companies are also eager to enter this market. Clear, a US security company that uses biometric data to confirm people’s identities at airports and other venues, is now documenting negative coronavirus tests for sports teams with its Health Pass app and has plans to validate immunizations when they become available ( Besides airports, Clear already operates at large sports arenas in the US. I’ve used it myself for expedited security clearance at baseball games in Washington, DC.

You can see where all this is heading. The availability of secure digital health credentials could speed reopening of offices, schools, and businesses. In the name of health security, we will evolve into a two class society: people who can document their covid immunity with an app, and those who can’t. But what if you don’t have a mobile phone? Or you don’t have a good internet connection? Or the app isn’t working for you? As long as you’ve got the magic ticket you get express entry onto your flight, into your office, to the football game, and maybe soon into the local pub. If not, you’re out of luck.

Civil liberties advocates are starting to express concerns about the implications of immunity apps.1 The private companies—non-profit or for-profit— producing these apps are outside government control or verification. It is not hard to imagine possible bad outcomes from a future split between haves and have-nots: perhaps denial of access to public transportation, decreased job opportunities, and even housing discrimination.

Immunity apps seem to be a great idea in need of serious regulation. I would feel a lot better about them if some government agencies or WHO were leading this activity.


Singer N. Vaccinated? Let’s see it on the app. New York Times. 14 Dec 2020. ... -apps.html.
Posts: 1535
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2020 5:22 am

Re: Health / Immunity Passports - A Study of The Pros & Cons

Post by trader32176 »

Broad Coalition of Health and Technology Industry Leaders Announce Vaccination Credential Initiative to Accelerate Digital Access to COVID-19 Vaccination Records

January 14, 2021 ... on-Records

The Vaccination Credential Initiative (VCI) is working to enable individuals vaccinated for COVID-19 to access their vaccination records in a secure, verifiable and privacy-preserving way.
Coalition partners include CARIN Alliance, Cerner, Change Healthcare, The Commons Project Foundation, Epic, Evernorth, Mayo Clinic, Microsoft, MITRE, Oracle, Safe Health, and Salesforce.
The coalition is developing a standard model for organizations administering COVID-19 vaccines to make credentials available in an accessible, interoperable, digital format.
Trustworthy, traceable, verifiable, and universally recognized digital record of vaccination status is urgently needed worldwide to safely enable people to return to work, school, events, and travel.

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A broad coalition of health and technology leaders today announced the creation of the Vaccination Credential Initiative (VCI), committed to empowering individuals with digital access to their vaccination records based on open, interoperable standards.

The current vaccination record system does not readily support convenient access, control and sharing of verifiable vaccination records.

VCI coalition members are working to enable digital access to vaccination records using the open, interoperable SMART Health Cards specification, based on W3C Verifiable Credential and HL7 FHIR standards.

“As we explore the many use cases for the vaccination credential, we are working to ensure that underserved populations have access to this verification,” said Dr. Brian Anderson, chief digital health physician at MITRE. “Just as COVID-19 does not discriminate based on socio-economic status, we must ensure that convenient access to records crosses the digital divide. MITRE is an independent advisor and trusted source for managing third-party data and proud to be joining with The Commons Project and other coalition members to deliver an open-source credential.”

“A secure, convenient solution to verify COVID-19 vaccination will play an important role in accelerating a healthy and safe return to work, school and life in general,” said Joan Harvey, president of care solutions at Evernorth, Cigna’s health services business. “Evernorth is helping to lead this important work because the digital vaccine certification made possible by this collaboration will put people in charge of their own health data through innovative technology. It furthers our mission to tackle healthcare’s biggest challenges.”

“As the world begins to recover from the pandemic, having electronic access to vaccination, testing, and other medical records will be vital to resuming travel and more,” said Mike Sicilia, executive vice president of Oracle’s Global Business Units. “This process needs to be as easy as online banking. We are committed to working collectively with the technology and medical communities, as well as global governments, to ensure people will have secure access to this information where and when they need it.”

“Salesforce is proud to join the Vaccination Credential Initiative to help organizations easily and safely customize all aspects of the vaccination management lifecycle and integrate closely with other coalition members’ offerings, which will help us all get back to public life,” said Bill Patterson, executive vice president and general manager, CRM Applications at Salesforce. “With a single platform to help deliver safe and continuous operations and deepen trust with customers and employees, this coalition will be crucial to support public health and wellbeing.”

VCI’s vision is 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.

“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.”

“The standards being developed by the Vaccination Credential Initiative, combined with availability of inexpensive smartphone-enabled rapid tests the FDA is now beginning to authorize for home use, will enable application developers to create privacy-preserving health status verification solutions that can be seamlessly integrated into existing ticketing workflows,” said Ken Mayer, founder and CEO of Safe Health. “SAFE is currently working with Hedera to develop a blockchain-enabled crowd safety solution using the VCI standards designed to help get concerts and sporting events going again.”

“Cerner is already providing tools to clinics, hospitals and other venues that provide health care to support the rapid COVID-19 vaccination process and ensure a safe, streamlined experience. This initiative will grow the standards around data exchange and help patients have access to and easily share verified vaccination information via their mobile device in situations where proof-of-vaccine is necessary,” said David Bradshaw, senior vice president of Consumer and Employer Solutions, Cerner. “Cerner is committed to continuing to be an industry advocate for standards-based access to health information.”

“We are kicking off the most significant vaccination effort in the history of the United States. Now more than ever, individuals need access to their own vaccination and health information in a portable format to begin to move about the country safely and comfortably,” said Ryan Howells, principal, Leavitt Partners and program manager of the CARIN Alliance. “The CARIN Alliance is supportive of MITRE’s effort to provide individuals with access to their vaccination information in a secure and trusted way and looks forward to advising the VCI initiative on ways to leverage the CARIN code of conduct and other best practices to facilitate consumer-directed exchange that we have developed consensus on over the last few years.”

The Vaccination Credential Initiative has created an informational website at for more information.
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