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Microsoft, Oracle and and other tech giants team up Covid-19 vaccine 'passports'

January 16, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 21.7%. 1 min read.

SAN DIEGO, CA - JANUARY 11: Healthcare workers receive their COVID-19 vaccine in the tailgate lot of PETCO Park on January 11, 2021 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/Getty Images)

With coronavirus vaccines now rolling out across the United States, businesses and schools are considering how, and what it will take, to safely resume in-person operations.

Some of the country's biggest tech firms and health care organizations have joined together to help facilitate that return to "normal. " The group, called the Vaccine Credential Initiative, wants to ensure that everyone has access to a secure, digital record of their Covid-19 vaccination — like a digital vaccine passport — that can be stored in people's smartphones.

"A secure, convenient solution to verify Covid-19 vaccination will play an important role in accelerating a healthy and safe return to work, school and life in general," said Joan Harvey, president of care solutions at Evernorth, Cigna's health services business.

The Vaccine Credential Initiative wants to create an open-source, standard model for how hospitals, pharmacies and clinics administering Covid-19 vaccines make digital records of immunizations, which can be provided to patients who want them.

The Covid-19 vaccination record also needs to be verifiable and secure in a way that was less important for past vaccination records — otherwise, a person could try to fake having gotten the Covid-19 vaccine by using someone else's record, Meyer said.

Firms like Microsoft and Oracle manage the tech infrastructure for many large health care systems, and can build in the standards for Covid-19 vaccine credentialing.

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