Los Angeles County COVID-19 vaccine patients will receive digital records of their vaccine that they can store in their Apple Wallet.
Initially, the digital token will be there to remind people to come back for their second dose of the vaccine, but in future, it could be shown at places like concerts and airports.
Healthvana, the software company behind the technology, says it’s already talking to event venues, schools, and airlines.
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People who get the COVID-19 vaccine in Los Angeles County will get digital reminders that they can put in their Apple Wallets, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday.The idea is that the digital token, provided by software company Healthvana, will remind patients to come in for their second dose of the vaccine — but in future it could be used to access to event venues, or airports, should they bring in health passport systems.”We’re really concerned. We really want people to come back for that second dose,” Claire Jarashow, director of vaccine preventable disease control at the Los Angeles County’s Department of Public Health, told Bloomberg.”We just don’t have the capacity to be doing hundreds of medical record requests to find people’s first doses and when they need to get their second,” she said.
Los Angeles county is, by far, the worst affected in the whole of the United States, with infections running at nearly 720,000, compared with the second-worst hit county – Cook county in Illinois – with 385,000 cases, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.One LA hospital is so overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients, it is being forced to treat them in the gift shop and the chapel, as cases continue to surge after the holidays, CNN reported on Monday.Healthvana CEO Ramin Bastani told Bloomberg the digital vaccination record, which can go in an Apple Wallet, or equivalent Google platform, will be useful “to prove to airlines, to prove to schools, to prove to whoever needs it.” He added Healthvana is currently in talks with concert venues, employers, universities, and schools about applying its technology.Bastani believes competing services to Healthvana’s will emerge as vaccination becomes more widespread. “It’s not going to be like one credit card you can use across the US […] Sometimes you can pay cash, sometimes you can use your Apple Wallet,” he said.
Bloomberg said Los Angeles county has administered 38,850 doses of the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine, and has so far focused on healthcare workers, care home residents, and paramedics.