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Health and Tech Giants Teams Up on COVID-19 Vaccine ‘Passports’

Health and Tech giants are coming together to create standards for digital vaccination passports.

Thursday, January 14, technology firms and health organizations announced plans for a digital vaccination certificate, which can be used on smartphones to show evidence of inoculation for COVID-19. 

The Vaccination Credential Initiatives or VCI includes Microsoft (MSFT), Salesforce (CRM), Oracle (ORCL), Cerner (CERN), Cigna’s (CI) Evernorth, healthcare software firm Epic and the Mayo Clinic, among others.

The VCI wants to create an open-source, standard model for how hospitals, pharmacies, and clinics administering COVID-19 vaccines make digital records of immunizations, which can be provided to patients who want them.

“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,” Paul Meyer, the CEO of the Commons Project Foundation, a nonprofit in Geneva, said in a press release.

The new group said it would develop standards for encrypted digital copies of immunization credentials which can be stored in a digital wallet.

“For some period of time, almost all of us are going to have to demonstrate either negative COVID-19 testing or an up-to-date vaccination status to go about the normal routines of our lives,” Dr. Brad Perkins, the foundation’s Chief Medical Officer, told The New York Times.