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Big Tech Group Collaborating on Digital Vaccine Passport

Could this make the unvaccinated among us second-class citizens?

As quickly as the coronavirus pandemic fell upon us, it seems as though the reactions to it came on even quicker.  Before you knew it we were having a “two week lockdown” to flatten the curve.

That was ten months ago.

Now we’re in a limbo of ever-changing quarantine rules, travel restrictions, mask debates, and arguments over the necessity and safety of a vaccine that was created in record time.

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There are some, particularly here in the United States, who aren’t yet comfortable with the idea of taking any of the available vaccines for COVID-19.  They now fear that their reluctance could make them second class citizens, especially if any sort of vaccine “passport” is created.

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Well, don’t look now.

A coalition of health and technology organizations are working to develop a digital COVID-19 vaccination passport to allow businesses, airlines and countries to check if people have received the vaccine.

The Vaccination Credential Initiative, announced on Thursday, is formulating technology to confirm vaccinations in the likelihood that some governments will mandate people provide proof of their shots in order to enter the nation.

The organization hopes the technology will allow people to “demonstrate their health status to safely return to travel, work, school and life while protecting their data privacy.”

The group was a who’s who of Big Tech, with a little old money thrown in for good measure:

The initiative, which includes members like Microsoft, Oracle and U.S. nonprofit Mayo Clinic, is using the work from member Commons Project’s international digital document that verifies a person has tested negative for COVID-19, the Financial Times reported.

The Commons Project’s technology, created in partnership with the Rockefeller Foundation, is being utilized by three major airline alliances.

Recent polling indicated that a nearly 40% of Americans were unsure of the safety of the coronavirus vaccines, and were undecided as to whether or not they would be inoculated.

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