3 things need to happen if the US wants to create a safe and organized vaccine passport system, Okta’s CEO says

Todd McKinnon

Summary List Placement

Proof of vaccine status is not a new idea.

Anyone who has traveled knows that many countries, including the US, require a current vaccination history as mandated in the 2005 International Health Regulations. Many US states also have vaccination requirements for daycare and school entry. 

As countries reopen their borders, many governments are considering COVID-19 vaccine passport requirements for travelers.

Meanwhile, debate around the need for vaccine passports domestically is growing. New York and Hawaii have implemented vaccine passport systems, while many other states are banning them altogether.

But whether you’re for or against a vaccine passport system, there’s an opportunity for us to learn from this time and reflect on how we could realistically come together to make a system like this work.

It starts with modernizing vaccine records — an issue that’s been called out by experts long before COVID-related challenges.

Here’s what would need to happen if we wanted to create a safe, organized, and technology-driven system that crosses state lines.

1. The Biden administration can’t stay hands-off

The Biden administration would need a central database of medical information to play a useful role in rolling out a solution, and that doesn’t exist in the US. Back in April, Dr. Fauci said that he doubted the federal government would lead the way in developing any kind of universal proof-of-vaccine system. 

The government could, however, play a useful role in developing a framework for states to follow when creating vaccine passports.

Dr. Fauci predicted that in the absence of a federal passport, independent entities like universities and movie theaters would start creating their own.

With so many separate organizations checking for vaccination status, we’d need a way to ensure each independent passport could be trusted and recognized.

The Biden administration should provide passport guidelines for states to follow to ensure interoperability and consistency. At the same time, the CDC could also play a part in ensuring consistent language around COVID-19 vaccine passport usage as the country opens up.

2. Create a simple and secure digital record

With a federal standard in hand, states would be better equipped to build and manage digital vaccine records. Paper records are logistically difficult to manage, hard to verify, vulnerable to abuse and imitation, and easy to lose or destroy. We’ve already seen fraudsters create fake vaccine paper cards.  

Digital records are essential to a vaccine passport system because they’re easy to manage, transport, secure, back up, and they can be made available through mobile devices or online systems.

But we need to be careful about what records are used, where they’re used, and how they’re stored. Improperly stored digital personally identifiable information (PII) is one of the biggest cyberattack targets. Instead of rushing to build disposable approaches, we should unify behind …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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