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The need for privacy in vaccine passport policies


Originally published to MedCity News by Chris Bowen on May 6, 2021. 


Let’s be careful and deliberate about what we decide to do with vaccine passports. Considerable consequences to individual freedoms - as well as both societal and public health - are at stake.

As more Americans seek vaccines to reopen the doors to their lives, the topic of digital passports to prove inoculation against COVID-19 has spiraled upward. The evolving story of vaccine passports is global, complicated, politicized and polarized. In many cases, these stories do not consider one of the most critical concerns: privacy impacts related to personal medical information security.

Hacking Healthcare, the weekly blog for members of the Health Information Sharing and Analysis Center (H-ISAC), recently provided some key updates. The EU has launched a Digital Green Certificate Program, expected to be ready later this summer. Israel has a Green Pass to validate vaccination (or COVID-19 recovery date for antibody immunity), needed to enter restaurants and other crowded venues.