If you are hoping that the coronavirus vaccine will bring back normal life, then hold your horses. There is likely to be one more obstacle before you travel and shop like before. In order to live life like before, you might require a vaccine passport application.
Several companies and technology groups which are developing smartphone apps have begun developing smartphone apps or systems for individuals to upload details of their COVID-19 tests and vaccinations, as mentioned in a report in CNN. This would create digital credentials that can be shown at the entry of movie theatres, offices, concerts, stadiums and even countries.
A Geneva-based non-profit The Commons Project has joined hands with World Economic Forum and partnered with airlines such as Lufthansa, United Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Cathay Pacific, Swiss Airlines as well as hundreds of health systems across the US and the government of Aruba. The group created the CommonPass app that allows users to upload their medical data and proof of vaccination. The app will generate a QR code that can be shown to authorities without revealing sensitive data, the report stated. Moreover the app also shows all health pass requirements at the points of departure and arrival.
The Commons Project chief marketing and communications officer Thomas Crampton said that there is a need for a simple and easily transferable set of credentials or a 'digital yellow card'.
Tech firms such as IBM have also developed its own app called the Digital Health Pass that allows venues and companies to customise the indicators that they need to allow entry to someone.
However, such apps are not entirely the solution as a large part of the global population still does not have access to smartphones. So, some companies within the COVID-19 Credentials Initiative are developing a smart card that can be a middle ground between paper and online version.
The creators of these apps have said that privacy is central to their apps.
Another problem that these apps could run into is that it is still unclear how effective vaccines would be. So a vaccine passport can show that the shot has been received but it might not guarantee that one can safely attend an event or get on a flight.