Microsoft, Oracle and Salesforce have joined a broad coalition of technology and health care companies to create the Vaccination Credential Initiative (VCI), which aims to accelerate access to COVID-19 vaccination records by creating a digital passport.
The technology would allow individuals to obtain a copy of their immunization records through a digital wallet of their choice, such as Apple Wallet or Google Pay, while those without smartphones would receive paper printed with QR codes containing verifiable credentials. In addition, the VCI said it will also try to develop new standards to help determine whether a person has or hasn’t been inoculated against the virus.
Other health care and technology leaders involved in the initative include the Commons Project Foundation, the CARIN Alliance, Cerner, Change Healthcare, Epic, Evernorth, the Mayo Clinic, MITRE, and Safe Health.
Salesforce executive vice president and general manager Bill Patterson said in a statement that the cloud-based software firm looks forward to helping organizations "easily and safely customize all aspects of the vaccination management lifecycle and integrate closely with other coalition members’ offerings, which will help us all get back to public life."
“With a single platform to help deliver safe and continuous operations and deepen trust with customers and employees, this coalition will be crucial to support public health and wellbeing,” Patterson added.
Mike Sicilia, executive vice president of Oracle's global business units, added that electronic access to vaccination, testing, and other medical records will be "vital to resuming travel and more" and that the process "needs to be as easy as online banking."
"We are committed to working collectively with the technology and medical communities, as well as global governments, to ensure people will have secure access to this information where and when they need it,” Sicilia said.
A spokesperson for Microsoft told FOX Business that the tech giant has already developed an implementation guide detailing "the use of open, interoperable, and privacy-protecting standards via the SMART Health Cards framework" as part of the VCI.
The push comes after the Commons Project Foundation developed its own digital health app last year, known as CommonPass, which has already undergone a trial run with United Airlines for flights between the United States and the U.K.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that over 30 million coronavirus vaccine doses created by Pfizer and BionTech and Moderna have been distributed in the United States as of Thursday, with more than 11 million Americans already receiving their first dose.
According to Johns Hopkins University, the United States has surpassed 23.2 million coronavirus cases, with more than 387,000 Americans who have died from the disease.