Covid-19 Vaccination Cards Are the Only Proof of Shots, Soon an Essential

Tuesday - 30/03/2021 08:49
Airports in Paris and Singapore as well as airlines including United and JetBlue are experimenting with apps that verify travelers are Covid-free before boarding. WSJ visits an airport in Rome to see how a digital health passport works. Photo credit:
Airports in Paris and Singapore as well as airlines including United and JetBlue are experimenting with apps that verify travelers are Covid-free before boarding. WSJ visits an airport in Rome to see how a digital health passport works. Photo credit:
The U.S. lacks a central database for immunizations due to privacy concerns, leaving non-standardized impermanent cards as the sole record of shots

Millions of adults vaccinated against Covid-19 have little to prove it beyond a paper card they received at inoculation sites.

The U.S. has no central database for immunizations. States maintain an incomplete patchwork of records. Nor is there standard proof of Covid-19 vaccinations like the yellow-fever cards that are required for travel to many countries where that disease remains prevalent.

With some countries and businesses preparing to make digital proof of vaccination a requirement for entry and travel, the paper cards may be the only ticket to access those platforms. Proof is already being requested on some first-dates and at weddings.

“I’m glad we prioritized getting shots in arms,” said Ami Parekh, chief medical officer at digital healthcare company Grand Rounds Inc., which acts as a kind of medical concierge for patients. “But putting in rules about being vaccinated without giving people a way to properly track it is a little bit backwards.”

The cards themselves are a patchwork of formats. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has designed a version, which many locations use, but it isn’t required. State and local authorities and even individual sites are devising their own cards to hand out. With no official standard, it may be hard to say what constitutes proof.


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 Keywords: Covid-19

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