As the post-Thanksgiving wave continued to worsen, it looked as though the return to work would take a much longer time than even the most cautious of estimates. Fortunately, the United States government approved the use of Pfizer’s initial vaccine due to emergency circumstances. The introduction of a vaccine means that businesses are one step closer to returning to shared workspaces. But that’s only one step on an ever-growing ladder. The biggest question that remains is how do you prove whether an individual has been vaccinated or not? The answer might be through QR codes.
The Problems Facing Vaccine Distribution
In early May, the Trump administration announced the introduction of Operation Warp Speed, a plan which aims to vaccinate 20 million individuals before the end of 2020. It wasn’t until the recent Pfizer vaccine approval did this plan actually become a possibility. Sadly, as quickly as the vaccines were approved, the hopes of this plan succeeding have dramatically fallen.
Contrary to the initial projections set by the federal government, only 2.1 million vaccines have been administered as of December 29. This speed of injection is drastically lower than the self-imposed pace established by the federal government earlier this year. A gap in expectations this dramatic has been met with tons of criticism. But, unfortunately, critique isn’t going to distribute vaccines any faster than they already are. This issue is made more complicated by the rise of a new COVID-19 variant.
A new variant could mean disastrous results for the recent rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine. While vaccine testing is still underway, a new variant might mean greater setbacks or even the need for an additional vaccine down the road. Both instances would result in massive hits to the economy. With brick-and-mortar businesses mostly shut down, it’s unclear how much longer companies can last using a strictly online format, particularly restaurants and small businesses.
What Does This Mean For Workplace Re-entry?
This slow vaccine launch poses a lot of potential obstacles for businesses that are looking to return to shared, indoor spaces. The biggest obstacle, of course, is proof of vaccination. If vaccines are going to be rolled out at a relatively slow pace, then not everyone will be immunized at the same time. Being able to distinguish which employees have been vaccinated is a huge deal when it comes to securing workplace safety — particularly with businesses that rely on close, in-person interactions.
So, how do companies account for the waves of vaccinations hitting their workforce? The federal government’s temporary solution is vaccination cards. These cards are supposed to be sufficient evidence for healthcare workers and individuals to identify which people have received vaccinations. But as an employer, how can you remotely monitor the COVID-19 and vaccination statuses of your employees?
Vaccination Status Using QR Codes
If technology has allowed billions of people to work from a distance, then technology can be used to help inform others about your vaccination status. The key here is a digital health passport. By utilizing an employee app, if needed the physician portal and privately secure network, companies can roll out digital health passports that can help employees and clients return to work safely.
The beauty of these apps is that it can compress this information into an individualized QR code. The purpose of this type of technology is to reduce the friction between vaccine verification and workplace entry. A QR code scanner at the entrance to every office space acts as a green light for those who have been properly vaccinated.
The primary issue with introducing technology at this level of safety and security is reliability. How can you trust your users to use the app and update it? Fortunately, Safe Passport’s COVID PreCheck App utilizes a secure network that privately connects employee health results to employers directly. This type of legitimacy encourages regular employee usage, which only contributes to the amount of safety already provided. To learn more about COVID PreCheck, visit our homepage or sign up for the app yourself.