Washington — More than 70 million Americans received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine — and along with that shot, a small piece of paper with a CDC label detailing the timing and manufacturer of the dose. Card.
At this time, these paper cards are the only evidence immediately available to Americans vaccinated against viruses that have disrupted businesses, schools, and most other aspects of everyday life.
The situation can change quickly as several companies and nonprofits are working on creating a “vaccine passport.” This is a smartphone-based app that can prove that someone has been vaccinated. Previous apps are intended for travelers who need to prove their vaccination status before boarding a plane or entering another country.
However, concerns about the broader vaccine requirements that may emerge have spurred Republicans in some states. Including Montana And IowaIntroduce legislation prohibiting discrimination based on vaccination status for employment or school admission. Opponents argue that some measures supported by vaccination groups can be harmful to public health.
A Republican measure in Michigan prohibits employees from requiring employees to wear face masks if their employer refuses to vaccinate. According to Michigan Advance..
So far, the public focus of the federal government has been primarily on the supply of vaccines and the strengthening of vaccination.One of President Joe Biden First executive order Suggest a vaccination passport outlook and instruct government agencies to “assess the feasibility” of adding COVID-19 vaccination records to international vaccination cards and digitize them.
For your app to work, you need a reliable data source that details who was vaccinated, or a way to see user-uploaded data. So far, it’s not clear how it works exactly.
Asked Monday about the federal debate on making vaccine passports, Andy Rabbit, senior adviser to Biden’s COVID-19 Task Force, said that the government’s idea of making vaccine passports was “some core. He answered that he had “belief”. It is not the role of the government to hold that data and do it. “
Slavit noted the ongoing efforts of the private sector and added that the government believes there is a “right way” to implement such a system.
“It must be private. The data must be secure. Access to the data must be free. It must be available in multiple languages, both digital and paper. It must also be open source. Must be, “says Slavit.
International vaccine certificate
The concept behind a vaccine passport is not new. In some countries, travelers have long requested certain vaccinations before entering the country. The World Health Organization has an internationally recognized vaccination certificate called the “Yellow Card” that standardizes the process.
Some countries (and airlines) are already working on similar certification systems for COVID-19 test results and vaccination. The European Union is discussing a “digital green pass” for EU citizens, and Israel has launched its own passport system, allowing vaccinated people to go to hotels, gyms and concert venues.
The International Air Transport Association Test your own travel pass With the airline. A coalition of tech and healthcare companies, including Microsoft and Mayo Clinic, was formed. Vaccination Qualification Initiative Because they are trying to build a similar app.
The requirement to show evidence of vaccination poses a set of legal, ethical, and logistical challenges. US law requires most employers to address health or religious concerns that prevent employees from being shot dead.
The idea that a company may require vaccines for employment or simply require them to enter a facility also raises concerns about equity, especially when vaccines are still in short supply.
Dritt Rice, a law professor at the University of California Hastings College of Law, who specializes in vaccine law policy, said Americans are likely to face immigration requirements to other countries, but widespread mandates by U.S. companies He said he didn’t expect it. Enforcement issues.
“It’s hard to send a card to everyone who comes in with Wal-Mart,” Reese said, adding that “not everyone can even access the free app.”
What if I don’t have a smartphone?
Reliance on digital passports raises additional concerns regarding equal access. Apps under development are expected to include paper-based options, but experts say that a tech-driven approach can limit the movement of apps that don’t have a smartphone.
“Let’s be clear. Passports are paper. No one can go anywhere without a paper passport,” said Michele Goodwin, a law professor at the University of California, Irvine’s Center for Biotechnology and Global Health Policy. I am. “We were able to take advantage of the most accessible mechanism in the world.”
And perhaps the biggest challenge is to ensure the security and accuracy of the data held in these passport systems. The state uses various systems to collect vaccination data, and so far the federal government has shown that it will integrate that data in sources accessible to consumers across state boundaries. not.
Former Utah Governor Michael Levitt, who previously ran the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said last month that consumers needed to have an accessible and reliable way to receive their vaccination data. Witnessed to Congress.
He compared a set of state systems for tracking vaccines to early ATMs where bank customers had to find a machine networked to their bank because the systems did not communicate with each other. Did.
“I’m a former Republican governor, and it’s not common to hear the words,’the government needs to demand the state …’,” Levitt said. “But the federal government is sending huge amounts of money and resources to make the country’s system work, partly in the requirements to make this data accessible to consumers through standardized systems. I think there is. “
This story was originally published by the Wisconsin Examiner. For more articles on the Wisconsin Examiner, please visit: WisconsinExaminer.com..
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