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Sorry, My Dog Ate My Vaccination Card

Now that COVID-19 vaccinations have become available in the United States under emergency use, the government must deal with the proof of immunization problem. Unfortunately for Americans, the initial solution to this problem may not be so convenient. Mandatory vaccination cards have been thrown around as the Band-Aid solution to an increasingly important issue. Not being able to utilize technology for one’s health records is both backward and dangerous. If you were to misplace your card or have it damaged in the wash, the consequences could be life-altering. As tired as the excuse may be, what are you supposed to do if your dog eats your vaccination card?

Why is Proof of Vaccination Important

While the U.S. may have overcome its greatest case spike yet, the journey is far from over. For businesses, schools, and travel to safely reopen, there has to be an effective system for monitoring people’s vaccination status. Considering how many folks have viewed masks and social distancing as ‘optional,’ it makes sense that proper protocols be put in place for identifying those who are more and less at risk of infection. This is especially important for interactions in hospitals and clinics that need to maximize the safety of their employees. The same is true for airlines, hotels, and indoor venues.

With proper proof of vaccination, businesses and governments can at least improve the safety of their indoor environments by only granting entry to vaccinated individuals. In order for proof of vaccination to be effective and legitimate, it requires a perfect combination of education, accessibility, and convenience. All things that technology can help provide. Unfortunately, vaccination cards provide none of those things.

A Vaccination Card is a Backwards and Dangerous Solution

Vaccination cards are not a new concept. In fact, immunization documents have been around since the 1800s during the rise of smallpox outbreaks. To prevent further infection, American schools and teachers were required to present vaccination cards before entering buildings. This system was made more sophisticated during the yellow fever epidemic in the 1960s. In 1969, the World Health Organization (WHO) introduced an international travel document known as the yellow card. This yellow card was mandatory for individuals from certain areas to travel between locations. 

As simple as these vaccination cards were, they were also effective. But that doesn’t mean they were perfect. In the 1960s, people didn’t have smartphones, home computers, or the internet. So, why should a 50-year-old solution be sufficient for a 21st-century pandemic? The answer is it isn’t. Asking millions of people to trust a destroyable and forgeable document is ludicrous. The government might as well be asking its citizens to adopt horse-drawn carriages for interstate travel. 

Part of what makes this so frustrating is the current existence of technologically-advanced alternatives, one of which is the digital health passport.

Why Digital Health Passports Are The Solution

The digital health passport is a product that is being developed for a series of industries, most recently airlines. Its purpose is to remotely demonstrate one’s proof of vaccination as well as their COVID-19 status. So, what makes this more effective than a vaccination card?

Firstly, a vaccination card can be manipulated, lost, or destroyed. In either case, it is subject to human error. Using a government-approved app would mean logging into an account with a multi-step verification process. This provides additional security while also ensuring that you can use this app regardless of whether your phone has been lost or destroyed. The downside is that not everyone has access to a phone. Where an app is not accessible, a vaccination card is a satisfactory alternative. 

One of the main issues with these types of apps is legitimacy. How are the results of tests and vaccines supposed to be reliably updated? Some of these apps, like COVID PreCheck, utilize a user app and if needed a physician portal to maximize their efficacy. This added level of verification increases the protection of its users and the likelihood that they would continually use it.

But just because the government isn’t taking advantage of a digital health passport doesn’t mean your business can’t. Download the COVID PreCheck App for your work today, and learn why technology is the key to conquering the pandemic.