January 14, 2021 (NEW YORK): A broad coalition of health and technology leaders today announced the creation of the Vaccination Credential Initiative (VCI™), committed to empowering individuals with digital access to their vaccination records based on open, interoperable standards.
The current vaccination record system does not readily support convenient access, control and sharing of verifiable vaccination records. VCI™ coalition members are working to enable digital access to vaccination records using the open, interoperable SMART Health Cards specification, based on W3C Verifiable Credential and HL7 FHIR standards.
VCI’s vision is to empower individuals to obtain an encrypted digital copy of their immunization credentials to store in a digital wallet of their choice. Those without smartphones could receive paper printed with QR codes containing W3C verifiable credentials.
“The goal of the Vaccination Credential Initiative is to empower individuals with digital access to their vaccination records so they can use tools like CommonPass to safely return to travel, work, school, and life, while protecting their data privacy,” said Paul Meyer, CEO of The Commons Project Foundation. "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."
“As we explore the many use cases for the vaccination credential, we are working to ensure that underserved populations have access to this verification,” said Dr. Brian Anderson, chief digital health physician at MITRE. “Just as COVID-19 does not discriminate based on socio-economic status, we must ensure that convenient access to records crosses the digital divide. MITRE is an independent advisor and trusted source for managing third-party data and proud to be joining with The Commons Project and other coalition members to deliver an open-source credential.”
“A secure, convenient solution to verify COVID-19 vaccination will play an important role in accelerating a healthy and safe return to work, school and life in general,” said Joan Harvey, president of care solutions at Evernorth, Cigna’s health services business. “Evernorth is helping to lead this important work because the digital vaccine certification made possible by this collaboration will put people in charge of their own health data through innovative technology. It furthers our mission to tackle healthcare’s biggest challenges.”
“As the world begins to recover from the pandemic, having electronic access to vaccination, testing, and other medical records will be vital to resuming travel and more,” said Mike Sicilia, executive vice president of Oracle’s Global Business Units. “This process needs to be as easy 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.”
“Salesforce is proud to join the Vaccination Credential Initiative to help 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,” said Bill Patterson, executive vice president and general manager, CRM Applications at Salesforce. “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.”
“The standards being developed by the Vaccination Credential Initiative, combined with availability of inexpensive smartphone-enabled rapid tests the FDA is now beginning to authorize for home use, will enable application developers to create privacy-preserving health status verification solutions that can be seamlessly integrated into existing ticketing workflows," said Ken Mayer, founder and CEO of Safe Health. “SAFE is currently working with Hedera to develop a blockchain-enabled crowd safety solution using the VCI standards designed to help get concerts and sporting events going again.”
“Cerner is already providing tools to clinics, hospitals and other venues that provide health care to support the rapid COVID-19 vaccination process and ensure a safe, streamlined experience. This initiative will grow the standards around data exchange and help patients have access to and easily share verified vaccination information via their mobile device in situations where proof-of-vaccine is necessary,” said David Bradshaw, senior vice president of Consumer and Employer Solutions, Cerner. “Cerner is committed to continuing to be an industry advocate for standards-based access to health information.”
“We are kicking off the most significant vaccination effort in the history of the United States. Now more than ever, individuals need access to their own vaccination and health information in a portable format to begin to move about the country safely and comfortably,” said Ryan Howells, principal, Leavitt Partners and program manager of the CARIN Alliance. “The CARIN Alliance is supportive of MITRE’s effort to provide individuals with access to their vaccination information in a secure and trusted way and looks forward to advising the VCI initiative on ways to leverage the CARIN code of conduct and other best practices to facilitate consumer-directed exchange that we have developed consensus on over the last few years.”
The Vaccination Credential Initiative has created an informational website at vaccinationcredential.org for more information.
VCI, a broad coalition of leading healthcare and technology organizations, continues to grow and is on track to publish freely available, openly licensed implementation guides for vaccination credentials in April, with availability to consumers to begin in May. These specifications establish an equitable, privacy-preserving approach to sharing verifiable clinical data in digital and paper form. If widely adopted, this approach enables individuals to show proof of vaccination to safely return to school, work, travel, and public events with organizations that adopt these specifications.