File picture: Reuters/Choi Bu-Seok
File picture: Reuters/Choi Bu-Seok

Samsung to offer a digital vaccine card solution

By Wesley Diphoko Time of article published Aug 23, 2021

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All vaccinated people are getting a cardboard card that contains information about their vaccination status. Problem is, in some parts of the world there are concerns that these cards may be faked. The South Korean tech company, Samsung, has come up with a solution for this challenge. Samsung devices that support Samsung Pay can now (in the US) store digital versions of users’ COVID-19 vaccination cards, through a partnership with healthcare nonprofit The Commons Project, the smartphone company announced.

Users have to first download the free CommonHealth app from the Google Play store and follow the instructions to access their COVID-19 vaccine record, from participating pharmacies, health systems, and health providers (not all providers are connected to the system yet). Once the user has access to their COVID-19 credential within the CommonHealth app, they can add it to their Samsung Pay wallet. The Covid-19 Vaccine Pass will then be available on the Samsung Pay app home page.

The next stage in this process may be to get restaurants, schools, offices, or other places that may require proof of vaccination, to accept these electronic versions.

In the US, the electronic COVID vaccine card has been a bit slow to catch on, but there’s been some progress. In June, Google opened up Android’s built-in passes system to let Android users store a digital vaccine card, on their phones. Available first in the US, it will rely on support from healthcare providers, or other organizations authorized to distribute COVID vaccines. And some states, like New York and California, have introduced their own digital vaccine cards. It's a matter of time before the Samsung digital cards are enabled in other parts of the world.

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