As COVID-19 vaccine eligibility opens up across the country, discussions about vaccine passports (or digital health passports) continue to ramp up. We’ve talked about vaccine passports here before, but some experts think the key to getting back to travel - especially international travel - could very well be proof of a COVID-19 vaccination.
Vaccine passports are tricky - there are many ethical questions surrounding them that still don’t have answers. They’ve become a bit controversial as some states have embraced them and others have banned them. The White House has recently said that they have no immediate plans for vaccine passport policy on a federal level.
We admittedly don’t have all the right answers to the tough questions surrounding vaccine passports, but we want our travelers to know their options. Here are some of the vaccine passport options currently available or in the works and what you need to know about each.
IATA Travel Pass
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has developed Travel Pass, a digital passport that allows travelers to store and manage their COVID-19 test results or vaccine records. Doctors will be able to send you your test results or vaccination certificate and you can then link those documents to the Travel Pass app prior to traveling. Just show the app to the agent at the airport along with your passport and ticket.
Because Travel Pass doesn’t store any data centrally, your personal information will be protected. You are in control of the information you have in the app - you link only the documents necessary for travel. No other data will be stored there.
The Travel Pass app is slated to be available for iPhone and Android in mid-April.
CLEAR Health Pass
CLEAR’s Health Pass connects to over 30,000 labs, allowing you to easily integrate and link to your COVID-19 lab test result. And soon the app will allow you to securely link to your healthcare account to confirm your vaccine records too.
CLEAR has partnered with Walmart to give those travelers who have received a COVID vaccine at Walmart or Sam’s Club easy access to their vaccination records by linking them through the app.
Health Pass is a free feature within the CLEAR app - just make sure you sign up for a free account first for access.
Not yet available to the masses, CommonPass is a platform that gives travelers access to their related documents and status, including PCR test results and vaccination status to “satisfy country entry requirements, while protecting their health data privacy.” It will show a simple yes or no answer as to whether a traveler meets the current entry criteria of the country they are traveling to.
To ease privacy concerns, CommonPass allows travelers to consent to their lab results and vaccination records being used to validate their COVID status without revealing any other personal health information.
CommonPass has partnered with Walmart to give those travelers who have received a COVID vaccine at Walmart or Sam’s Club easy access to their vaccination records by linking them through the app.
American Airlines is offering their travelers free access to VeriFLY, a mobile health passport that can be used when traveling on an international flight to the U.S. and on domestic flights to eight countries, including the UK and Canada. Customers can upload any documents they need to meet travel requirements - like a negative COVID test - to VeriFLY and show them to an American agent at the airport.
Israel’s Green Pass
Israel’s Green Pass is a vaccination certificate that is available to anyone who has received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine through one of Israel's four health maintenance organizations or other accredited vaccination service. Green Pass is accepted in both digital and paper form, which seemingly solves for some of the ethical issues around digital health passports.
The Pass is good for six months and can be used to enter gyms, hotels, and restaurants. It’s also a way to verify a person’s vaccination status while traveling.
EU’s Digital Green Certificate
In March, the European Commission proposed the Digital Green Certificate - digital proof accepted in all EU Member States that proves a person has been vaccinated, received a negative test result, or has recovered from COVID.
The certificate will be free and available via smartphone app or paper form. It will include a QR code with a digital “signature” from the issuing body (i.e. hospitals, test centers, etc) to ensure the information is accurate and secure.
To protect users’ privacy, the certificates will only include a limited set of information that cannot be retained by visited countries. All health data will remain with the member state that issued the certificate.
The digital infrastructure, or gateway, is being built by the European Commission and is expected to be ready by summer.
We know, it’s a lot. There are a lot of vaccine passport options out there and there’s not yet a standard for how they operate. We expect even more versions to become available in the coming months as the world looks for solutions for returning to travel. While this is certainly a developing story and things are constantly evolving, you should know your options. As we learn more, we will keep you updated. In the meantime if you have questions or want to know more information about vaccine passports, reach out to a member of our team - we’re always ready to help.