Technology

Do you have your Covid shots? You may have to prove it.

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Despite recent media coverage, political attitudes, and the launch of new apps, it’s not clear what the long-term outlook for vaccine IDs might be. In the short term, they could become some kind of nudge to the hesitant, encouraging them to take their shots to open doors that would otherwise (literally) stay closed.

“Our intention is to open as many places as possible with the green passport,” said Sharon Alroy-Preis, director of the Israeli Ministry of Health for Health, in an interview with Israeli news website Ynet. “The aim is to create safer places and encourage vaccination.”

But after that? Experts don’t yet know – and even Israel is still finding out. The clearest answer is that people in certain places may need to prove they are vaccinated or free of Covid for at least a short window of time. Whether or not these systems will persist and how people will feel about them is just as difficult to predict as the course of the pandemic.

Even if the future is bleak, according to Parker, it’s important to have a feel for the long-term perspective: “You are building a health monitoring tool and normalizing a number of third parties who ask or require people to share data. It’s a really big question how that could play out. “On the other hand, if this is temporary, she says,” Do we have the ability to break it down? “

Bioethicist Arthur Caplan, founding director of the medical ethics division at NYU School of Medicine, says he has seen norms related to vaccination change and evolve. Recalling his urge to require health professionals to get flu vaccinations, he says that the controversy subsided after the initial debate: “Some people said I don’t do it, I hate it. After about two years of it? Nobody cares. You just do it. “

And in any case, ending the pandemic depends on several factors, not just one type of technology, says Julie Samuels, who helped launch the New York exposure notification app last year. As with all technology related to the pandemic, she says, “It’s important to only look at these things as a protective layer. The most important thing, of course, is that as many people as possible are vaccinated. ”

This story is part of the Pandemic Technology Project supported by the Rockefeller Foundation.

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Steven Gregory