Citizens who had received the vaccine will be able to use a digital certificate on their mobile phone as proof, as well as a via near field communications (NFC) stickers on their passport
At the start of February, both Denmark and Sweden announced that they were developing digital vaccine certificates, enabling citizens to prove they have been inoculated against Covid-19 and potentially travel abroad. Now, the Swedish government says that the digital vaccine system could be in place by the summer.
Sweden is driving the development of digital vaccination certificates. We now have a model that is simple, safe and versatile. I see these vaccination certificates being in place by the summer," Anders Ygeman, Sweden’s minister for digital development.
The digital proof of vaccination would be accessible via a smartphone or digital wallet, as well as being made available as a paper document or a NFC sticker attached to a passport. Encryption keys would be included to ensure security and authenticity.
Of course, the introduction of vaccine certificates itself is not without criticism. Sceptics point out that it is unlikely the entirety of the population will ever be fully vaccinated, as well as the potential for such certificates to result in unfair privileges for the vaccinated population.
Nonetheless, Sweden and Denmark are certainly not alone in calling for the rapid implementation of vaccination certificates, with Greece, Cyprus, and Spain notably supporting these projects, banking of the certificates introduction to facilitate travel and reinvigorate their decimated tourist sectors.
The UK announced that it was piloting a digital immunity and vaccination passport back in January, aiming to allow citizens to disclose their Covid-19 test results of vaccination status without revealing their identity. The free app can be plugged in directly to the NHS’s digital infrastructure, with the trial scheduled for completion at the end of this month.
Similarly, in the US a coalition of tech companies and healthcare providers called the Vaccination Credential Initiative (VCI) are also trying to standardise digital vaccination confirmation.
“VCI’s vision is to empower individuals to obtain an encrypted digital copy of their immunisation credentials to store in a digital wallet of their choice. Those without smartphones could receive paper printed with QR codes containing W3C-verifiable credentials,” said VCI.
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