KANSAS CITY, MO. – Many people might want to go to that concert or on that big vacation but are worried about who is vaccinated against COVID-19 or not. The ticket to all the places you love could be right on your phone.
Large companies like Cerner in Kansas City are working on a project that will digitally store your COVID-19 vaccination logs Vaccination Initiative.
“It will be a stimulus to our travel industry for people on the move again,” said Mark Ebbitts, president of Shelton Travel Service.
Ebbitts said it would be a more convenient way for people to prove they had a COVID vaccine if they need to take a flight or trip overseas before a cruise.
“It has to be big, and it will be big once it comes out,” said Ebbitts. “They want to be sure that you are vaccinated. The way they do now, you have to have a COVID test between 3 and 5 days before you go anywhere. And the US now requires you to have a 3-day test beforehand come back.”
Your records are encrypted with a QR code (like a barcode) that is unique to you. Cerner compares it to the Google or Apple wallet function, where you have your credit cards, concert tickets or plane tickets available.
If you do not have a smartphone, you can receive the QR code in the mail to print out.
“This QR code has the most important information about who you are, where you got your vaccine and what version of the vaccine is embedded in it,” said Dick Flanigan, senior vice president at Cerner. “And to provide it in such a humble way, the smallest amount of information required to do one thing: to confirm that you received a credible vaccine from a credible supplier.”
According to Flanigan, Cerner is owned by companies like Oracle, Microsoft, and nonprofits like Miter and The Commons Project, who are working to build the project’s digital infrastructure through government agencies and healthcare providers.
“I think maybe the concern would be a bit of privacy knowing that your passport and medical information is out there on your phone,” Ebbitts said. “But these are not as overwhelming as the benefit of getting off and traveling.”
Flanigan said tests will be held in the spring to show it is safe and private.
“I would say you will see some great demonstration projects by spring and hopefully you will see these available and widespread by midsummer,” Flanigan said.