With plenty of high-level companies working on the technology, are vaccine passports coming to speed up the world’s pandemic response and expedite the reopening of global borders?
Following on from increased measures around international travel coming into force in the UK and details of the Test & Release system potentially cutting down isolation times. Reports circulating recently have suggested we may be getting closer to seeing stronger development of vaccine passport technology.
Thoughts behind the initiative suggest it will allow people to start mixing in public again, travelling to restaurants & bars and eventually heading overseas.
Experts have suggested the vaccine passport would utilise facial recognition technology. Digitalhealth.net reported this week, live testing of immunity passport technology created by ID management companies Mvine and iProov has now begun in the UK.
Paper versions of vaccine confirmation have been in circulation in Europe since late last year. However, it’s now hoped this new technology will be able to offer a more interactive response.
Thoughts behind the process of the technology are, following the successful administration of a vaccination doctors will create an online certificate to confirm a person’s immunity. The person receiving the inoculation will then be required to upload a photo to the app to verify they’re fit to travel.
Questions around security
To ensure security the person can gain access to their vaccination status by matching their face to the one saved on the internal passport app.
The tech companies have been quick to confirm no other personal data will be stored on the app, other than the image and a person’s vaccination status. The app has also been developed for seamless compatibility with the NHS’s infrastructure.
On the back of the continued vaccination rollout, abc7news has been reported tech giants like Microsoft and Oracle have been looking into the possibility of developing more widely accessible immunity passports.
The tech being developed by the conglomerates is aiming to enable test results and vaccination statuses to be housed in “digital wallet” apps already built into smartphones.
Those without access to smartphones will be able to print out the details of their vaccine passport which will feature a scannable QR code to view the sensitive information.
Many large air travel companies like Virgin Airlines are already utilising technology called CommonPass which hosts vaccination and test result information.
It also notifies travellers to get a test from the nearest centre to allow online status updates. Test data is then stored on a QR code within the app.
Ready to go?
However, the World Health Organisation (WHO) have been quick to temper enthusiasm around vaccine passports and the re-opening of world borders. officials from the WHO warned recently:
“There are still too many fundamental unknowns in terms of the effectiveness of vaccines in reducing (virus) transmission and vaccines are still only available in limited quantities.“