COVID-19 vaccine verification? Digitally-verified clinical data apps already in the works

Credit: Shutterstock
Credit: Shutterstock

A coalition that includes tech giants and healthcare providers is preparing to release global standards for mobile apps that verify whether someone has had a Covid-19 vaccine.

The Vaccination Credential Initiative standards will incorporate digitally-verified clinical data with a name and birth date that can be also displayed as machine-readable QR codes.

After the open-source standards are released next month, they can be integrated into mobile apps that people could use to verify they have been vaccinated to gain admission to offices, restaurants, bars, entertainment venues and other public places.

Companies and large venues could also choose to request additional verification, such as a driver’s license, or temperature checks in addition to seeing an individual’s vaccine record

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Microsoft said Joshua Mandel, its chief architect for healthcare, contributed to development of the software standards. “The aim … is to provide individuals access to their Covid-19 vaccination records in a secure, verifiable and privacy-preserving way,” a Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement.

The group isn’t getting paid for developing the standards, which will be freely available for anyone to use. Healthcare organizations can update their existing mobile apps to incorporate the new standards once they are available.

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