In the OECD world, Covid-19 has been contained to a large extent. A majority of the population has been fully or partially vaccinated and the governments of each country are fighting resurgence of the virus by fighting vaccine hesitancy and creating a system of track & trace for vaccinated and unvaccinated people. Large scale vaccination campaigns have created a dual structure of vaccinated and unvaccinated people and based on the vaccine status those unvaccinated are still at risk .
A major challenge facing these governments and the world at large was that the travel and events industry was shut down to handle the pandemic. Pre-pandemic this industry was worth $2.9 Trillion globally employing millions of people across the globe.
As such to successfully host large gatherings and travel, governments are proposing vaccine based entrances or vaccine passports for international or domestic travel in trains and planes, indoor stadium based events such as games and live concerts so that large scale gatherings do not end up becoming a super spreader event. The task of undertaking vaccine passport app development is fraught with challenges of implementation and privacy concerns as people have never been asked to provide health information before on such a large scale. The way out of it is to provide only the status of the person in question and not the underlying data that denotes his/her status.
The major challenges for any vaccine passport app are:
Verification of the Vaccine certificate & test certificate
Third party authorization & misuses
Privacy and confidentiality challenges
Verification of The Certificates
One of the major challenges of any vaccine certification app will be the verification, storage and checking of certificates related to Covid-19 tests and vaccines.
As users are presenting sensitive health information to non medical professionals, utmost care is needed for data handling.
Ideally, an authorized list of test providers and valid vaccines should be available on the app that are accepted by the local authorities on both sides, the place of origin and the place of travel. Users can avail a test to showcase their negative status and the vaccine status which denotes that they have been vaccinated.
Verification can be done by creating a barcode that can only be accessed by authorized barcode readers and corresponding apps.