The digital token is meant to remind people to come back for their second vaccine dose but in the future could be used at concerts and airports.
- Patients in Los Angeles County will soon receive digital records of their vaccine that they can store in their Apple Wallet, according to Bloomberg.
- Initially, the digital token is meant to remind people to come back for their second dose of the vaccine, but it could ultimately be shown at places like concerts and airports.
- Healthvana, the software company behind the technology, says it’s talking to event venues, schools, and airlines.
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People who get a COVID-19 vaccine in Los Angeles County will soon get digital reminders they can put in their Apple Wallets, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday.
The idea is that the digital token, provided by the software company Healthvana, will remind patients to come in for their second dose of the vaccine – but it could ultimately be used to access event venues, or airports, should they bring in so-called health-passport systems.
“We’re really concerned. We really want people to come back for that second dose,” Claire Jarashow, the director of vaccine preventable disease control at Los Angeles County’s Department of Public Health, told Bloomberg.
“We just don’t have the capacity to be doing hundreds of medical record requests to find people’s first doses and when they need to get their second,” she said.
Los Angeles County has recorded nearly 720,000 coronavirus infections during the pandemic, far above the county with the second-highest total – Cook County in Illinois, with 385,000 – according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
One Los Angeles hospital is so overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients that it is being forced to treat some people in the gift shop and the chapel, as cases continue to surge after the holidays, CNN reported on Monday.
Healthvana CEO Ramin Bastani told Bloomberg the digital vaccination record, which could go in an Apple Wallet or equivalent Google platform and is set to be rolled out this week, would be useful “to prove to airlines, to prove to schools, to prove to whoever needs it.” He added Healthvana was in talks with concert venues, employers, universities, and schools about applying its technology.
Bastani believes competing services to Healthvana’s will emerge as vaccination becomes more widespread. “It’s not going to be like one credit card you can use across the US,” he said, adding: “Sometimes you can pay cash, sometimes you can use your Apple Wallet.”
Bloomberg said Los Angeles County had administered 38,850 doses of Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine, having so far focused on healthcare workers, care-home residents, and paramedics.