Many companies and organizations are collaborating to provide solutions for identifying Americans who have been vaccinated for COVID-19. Prominent among these organizations is the software giant, Microsoft and the Mayo Clinic. Also, among them are Cerner, Epic, and Oracle. The project is spearheaded by The Commons Project Foundation, a non-profit organization.
The group wants people who have been vaccinated for the coronavirus to form a traceable identity. With the Vaccination Credential Initiative (VCI) program, there is a provision for vaccination record-keeping by everyone who has been vaccinated, including a digital wallet where one could keep such records.
At the moment, two vaccines have been approved to combat the virus. Following President Joe Biden's directive, there will be more urgency in both the production and distribution of the vaccines. The hope is that if proof of vaccination can be presented, then those that have been vaccinated can begin resume their everyday lives. This will in turn make the vaccination process faster, as it will be easier to identify those who have already been vaccinated. With ease of accessing vaccine credentials a necessity for this to work, digitalization of these records will be crucial from an interoperability standpoint.
According to the CEO of The Commons Project, Paul Meyer, VCI is working toward giving people presentable digital access to their vaccination status without compromising their privacy. He also believes that the initiative can go beyond the United States, even indicating that the World Health Organization could potentially use it on a global scale. The digital records will require the use of applications like CommonPass to access them.
One of the biggest challenges the organization is facing is how to make the initiative widely accepted and utilized. To facilitate this, the Department of Health and Human Services has started mandating that hospitals make their workers' vaccination status available for verification.
The President of the American Hospital Association, Richard Pollack also shares a similar vision with the VCI project. He believes that as more resources are allocated for vaccination and the distribution process is expedited, there will be even further challenges around the necessary data tracking it will entail. It will therefore be essential to put in place a system that will ensure orderliness and consistency as the need to verify vaccination status grows.