COVID-19 Digital 'Vaccination Passport': Health and Tech Giants to Develop A Solution for Travel and Work

As batches of COVID-19 vaccines began to roll out in several parts of the world, the likes of Microsoft and Oracle are reportedly developing a system that allows people to resume working, working, and studying out of their homes. The scheme, called "The Commons Project," is currently under trial. 

The Vaccination Credential Initiative has set a goal to provide the standards to verify whether a person has received their shot of vaccine to prevent others who haven't from traveling. The Vaccination Credential Initiative is a coalition of several health and tech groups, including Microsoft, Oracle, and the non-profit US-based organization Mayo Clinic. 

"Individuals are going to need to have to produce vaccination records for a lot of aspects of getting back to life as normal," said Paul Meyer, chief executive of The Common Project, as noted from Financial Times. "We live in a globally connected world. We used to anyway - and we hope to again."

As new strains of the virus are spreading in several parts of the world, The Common Project says that it's been trying to double the speed.

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The Future of Travel

That said, when the trial finishes, people will be able to carry a verifiable COVID-19 immunization record on their smartphones in the form of mobile apps. Although the vaccine rollout has not been equal, those who have not obtained the vaccination are likely to be exempted from airports, airlines, and other travel stakeholders. 

Besides, this is not the only app to be in development. In fact, there are too many, to begin with. 

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has previously announced its "Travel Pass" initiative. IATA aims to be a global and standardized solution to "validate and authenticate all country regulations" regarding the travel requirements during the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Computing giant International Business Machines (IBM) also announced its "Digital Health Pass" as a part of IBM Watson Works. Designed to provide authorities so each can establish their own criteria, the IBM Digital Health pass will issue a verifiable credential that can be checked by regulators and organizations. 

COVID-19 Vaccine Updates

Speaking of the vaccines, several techs and health companies have been racing against the time to find the ultimate vaccine to prevent COVID-19 from spreading. According to the World Health Organization, in January 2021, there are at least three vaccine variants that have been authorized.

In some countries, vaccines have begun distributing. Frontline health workers, older people, and patients with severe medical conditions are among the prioritized groups, followed by the age groups after them. 

Even though vaccines are expected to see an equal distribution in a matter of months, self-preventing by keeping the distance, wearing a mask, and continuously washing hands are still mandatory. Several countries are also seeing a massive spike in daily number cases. 

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