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Sunday, May 23, 2021

England Vaccine Passport

Some intriguing details of the approach in play

What England’s new vaccine passport could mean for covid tech’s next act

As more countries roll out systems for proving that people are immunized, they can learn from last year’s flood of covid apps.   by Lindsay Muscato

Almost exactly a year ago, software developers rushed to build technologies that could help stop the pandemic. Back then, the focus was on apps that could track whether you’d been near someone with covid. Today the discussion is about digital vaccine credentials, often called “vaccine passports,” designed to work on your smartphone and show that you’ve been inoculated. 

The latest launch came on May 17 in England, with the National Health Service’s new digital credential for crossing borders. Here’s what we know about it: 

It’s only for people going out of the UK from England (Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland are not yet using the app, although it could expand to them soon).

It’s just for crossing borders. Using it at places around town (like pubs) has been suggested by some, but that remains a controversial idea. 

Not many countries accept proof of vaccination as an alternative to quarantining or showing a negative covid test, so those using the app still need to check the rules for their particular destination.

It’s an upgrade of an NHS app that connects people to their doctors’ offices and medical records—and not an addition to the NHS’s much-debated contact tracing app.

Right now it can only show vaccination status, not other information such as negative test results, although that could be added.

People without smartphones can request a letter that verifies they’ve had both doses of the vaccine.   ....  '

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