Coronavirus vaccine passports being developed for travel in 2021

The lack of clarity surrounding the impact of the vaccine hasn’t stopped companies like IBM from developing a smartphone app to track who has or who has not been vaccinated.

Vaccine passports may be required in the near future.

Major tech companies are working on creating smartphone apps that will allow users to upload their vaccine and COVID-19 information. Some experts say this could be a requirement to travel and enter spaces like movie theaters and concerts, per CNN.

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Mexico Continues COVID-19 Vaccination Campaign
Photo by Manuel Velasquez/Getty Images

Coronavirus vaccines recently began rolling out across the United States and despite the fact that there are still questions regarding the impact of the vaccine, companies are already working on apps to help control the spread.

“We still don’t know if vaccinated people can transmit infection or not,” said Dr. Julie Parsonnet to CNN Business. “Until that is clarified, we won’t know whether ‘passports’ will be effective.”

But the lack of clarity hasn’t stopped companies like IBM from developing a smartphone app to track who has or who has not been vaccinated.

Christianna Tucker gets a COVID-19 vaccine from Anthony Oyetola at Roseland Community Hospital Friday in Chicago, Illinois. The hospital began distributing the vaccine to its staff Thursday. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

“If we’re successful, you should be able to say: I’ve got a vaccine certificate on my phone that I got when I was vaccinated in one country,” said Brian Behlendorf, executive director of Linux Foundation, a tech company helping public health officials beat COVID-19.

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“With a whole set of its own kind of health management practices…that I use to get on a plane to an entirely different country and then I presented in that new country a vaccination credential so I could go to that concert that was happening indoors for which attendance was limited to those who have demonstrated that they’ve had the vaccine.”

IBM created an app called  Digital Health Pass which can be stored in your Google wallet and provide information like your vaccine status, temperature, and other health-related information in order to gain entry to an establishment that requires it.

Vaccine passports could be available as early as the first half of 2021.

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