Microsoft, Salesforce and Oracle are working on the Covid vaccination passport

Brendan McDermid | Reuters

London – A digital passport for Covid vaccination is being jointly developed by a group of health and technology companies that expect governments, airlines and other companies soon to require people to prove their vaccination.

The coalition known as the Vaccination Accreditation Initiative – which includes Microsoft, Salesforce, and Oracle, in addition to the US nonprofit Mayo Clinic for Healthcare – was Announced on Thursday.

VCI said it wants to develop technology that enables individuals to have an encrypted digital copy of their vaccination credentials that can be stored in a digital wallet of their choice, such as Apple Wallet or Google Pay. He suggested that anyone without a smartphone could receive paper printed with QR codes that contained verifiable credentials.

The coalition said it will also try to develop new standards to confirm whether or not a person has been vaccinated against the virus. Previously, citizens used vaccination manuals to track their travel vaccinations but authorities rarely ask to see them.

„The goal of the Vaccination Accreditation Initiative is to enable individuals to have digital access to their vaccination records,“ Paul Mayer, CEO of the nonprofit Foundation, The Commons Project, which is a member of the coalition, said in a statement.

He added that technology should allow people to „safely return to travel, work, school and life, while protecting the privacy of their data.“

Bill Patterson, Executive Vice President and General Manager at Salesforce Enterprise Software, said his company wants to help organizations „customize all aspects of the immunization management lifecycle and integrate closely with the offerings of other Alliance members, which will help us all return to public life.“

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“With a single platform to help deliver safe and sustainable operations and deepen trust with customers and employees, this alliance will be essential to support public health and well-being,” Patterson added.

Microsoft did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

Vaccine differs in opinion

While many people cannot wait to protect themselves from the virus, some insist not to receive the vaccine, leaving the population divided into those who have been vaccinated and those who have not been vaccinated. In the UK, one in five say they are unlikely to get a vaccine, according to YouGov Research Published in November, citing a variety of different reasons.

According to polls, millions of people around the world still do not want to be vaccinated. Some fear the needles, some believe in unfounded conspiracy theories and others are concerned about potential side effects. Others do not think vaccination is necessary and would rather risk contracting Covid.

As a result of differing opinions, a debate could start to arise in 2021. Should any restrictions be imposed on people who choose not to be vaccinated, given the potential for catching and spreading the virus?

It’s a tricky topic but governments are already looking into introducing systems that would enable authorities, and possibly companies, to know whether or not a person has gotten the Covid vaccine.

In December it appeared Los Angeles County Plans To allow Covid vaccine recipients to store evidence of vaccination in their Apple Wallet on their iPhone, which can also store tickets and boarding passes in digital form. Officials say it will be used first to remind people to get the second vaccine, but it could eventually be used to reach concert venues or flights.

China has it Launch the Health Code app It indicates whether a person is symptom-free for checking into a hotel or using the subway. In Chile, citizens who have recovered from the coronavirus have been released Virus-free certificates.

On December 28, Spanish Health Minister Salvador Illa said his country would do so Create a record To show who refused vaccination and that the database could be shared across Europe.

Elsewhere, Delta Airlines CEO Ed Bastian said in April that immunity passports could be used to help travelers feel more confident in their personal safety while traveling.

A Ryanair spokesperson said „vaccination will not be required on Ryanair’s flight“ when she asked CNBC whether it would prevent unvaccinated people from flying on its aircraft. British Airways, Qantas and EasyJet did not respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

Isra Black, a lecturer in law at York University, and Lisa Forsberg, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Oxford who researches medical ethics, told CNBC that „it is not easy to say whether it is morally permissible for a country to impose restrictions“ on People who refuse a jab.

The academics said in a joint e-mail statement that the answer will depend on factors such as the supply of the vaccine, the level of vaccination in the population, the nature of the restrictions imposed on the vaccine rejecters and how the restrictions are activated.

„We might think that there are strong, albeit not necessarily conclusive, reasons in favor of some restrictions on restoring pre-pandemic freedoms of individuals who refuse to be vaccinated for Covid-19, for example, about their freedom of assembly,“ Black and Forsberg said. . “There is a possibility that unvaccinated individuals will develop a serious condition of infection with the Coronavirus, which we are dealing with will be harmful to them, but it may also negatively affect others, for example, if health resources must be diverted away from care that is not related to Covid virus. „

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