Express Scripts is throwing its hat into the ring for vaccine passports, by adding a feature to its app that lets people access their vaccination records. For people whose health plans use Express Scripts for their PBM, it can automatically pull in their records if they were vaccinated at a pharmacy, and they can show a QR code as proof of vaccination.
The app would use SMART Health Card certifications, which are essentially verifiable digital or paper versions of people’s vaccine records. Users can store it as a file on their phone, and share it as they choose to. It includes their name, and information about the type, date and location of their vaccine.
Although the process is less cumbersome than other vaccine passport options, for now, the Express Scripts feature is limited to members who get vaccinated at a retail pharmacy.
As vaccination requirements are becoming more prevalent for everything from conferences to concerts, some businesses are tapping “vaccine passport” apps for verification.
Some currently in use include the Excelsior Pass, which was developed by IBM and is being used by New York State, although it has faced criticism over privacy concerns and glitches. Some airlines, including United and Lufthansa, are using CommonPass, an app developed by nonprofit the Commons Project. Another health screening app, developed by Clear, known before the pandemic for letting people skip airport security lines, uses biometric information, such as a users’ face or fingerprint, to verify their identity.
While digital vaccine records won’t get crinkled up in your wallet, groups including the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation have raised potential privacy and equity concerns with vaccine passports. Any workable solution, according to the ACLU, must be decentralized, open source, and not exclusively digital. For its part, the EFF simply recommends paper proof of vaccination or digital photos of paper cards.
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