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Microsoft, Oracle, Salesforce Join COVID-19 Vaccination Records Initiative

‘Open standards and interoperability are at the heart of VCI‘s efforts and we look forward to supporting the World Health Organization and other global stakeholders in implementing and scaling open global standards for health data interoperability,’ says Paul Meyer, CEO of The Commons Project Foundation, the non-profit developer of the CommonHealth and CommonPass projects.

A number of top enterprise IT companies have joined a new initiative focused on providing digital access to COVID-19 vaccination records.

Microsoft, Oracle, and Salesforce have all signed on with large healthcare companies and organizations to the Vaccination Credential Initiative, or VCI, which is dedicated to ensuring that anyone who gets the COVID-19 vaccine can access records of their vaccination in a private, secure, and verifiable manner.

Having access to those records could become important as the world starts to move past the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic and return to normal life.

[Related: The State Of IT Salaries And WFH Post-COVID-19: Hired Survey]

Currently, as people get vaccinated, they will be issued vaccination cards, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Going forward, those who get vaccinated may need proof of that vaccination for such activities as participating in certain jobs, returning to school, or making international travel plans, and providing verifiable proof is part of what the Vaccination Credential Initiative plans to offer.

The VCI wants to develop a standard model for organizations which provide the vaccines to ensure a trustworthy, traceable, verifiable, and universally-recognized digital record is available.

The VCI plans to develop a COVID-19 vaccination record based on the SMART Health Cards Framework, a draft of which has been developed with help from technology and lab vendors in conjunction with four independent software implementations, and is expected to let individuals obtain an encrypted digital copy to store in their own digital wallet to be presented via a mobile device. A paper version with QR codes containing the verifiable credentials would be available to those without such devices.

Paul Meyer, CEO of The Commons Project Foundation, a non-profit organization focused on providing the benefits of technology while allowing users to retain control of their digital lives and a member of the Vaccination Credential Initiative, said in a statement that the VCI is aimed at giving individuals access to their vaccination records to safely return to travel, work, school, and life, while protecting their data privacy.

“Open standards and interoperability are at the heart of VCI‘s efforts and we look forward to supporting the World Health Organization and other global stakeholders in implementing and scaling open global standards for health data interoperability,” Meyer said.

Mike Sicilia, executive vice president of Oracle’s Global Business Units, said in a statement that having access to such records will be important as people resume travel and other activities.

“This 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.

Bill Patterson, executive vice president and general manager of CRM Applications at Salesforce, said the VCI is aimed at customizing all aspects of the vaccination management lifecycle and integrating them with other coalition members’ offerings to help people 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 said.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused more than 92 million infections globally and 1.9 million deaths, including 386,996 in the U.S. alone, according to the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Research Center’s latest statistics. More than 11 million people have received the first dose of a vaccine in the U.S. as of Thursday, according to the CDC.

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