Airline industry launching vaccine passport iOS app

Posted:
in General Discussion
Airline body IATA is launching a digital travel pass, or coronavirus vaccine passport, in an iOS app.

Virgin Atlantic is to trial the new IATA app (source: Virgin Atlantic)
Virgin Atlantic is to trial the new IATA app (source: Virgin Atlantic)


As countries continue to discuss creating and operating COVID vaccine passports, the International Air Transport Association has announced that is launching its version for iPhone in mid-April. Originally planned for March, the digital travel pass will later roll out to Android, and provide vaccinated travellers with faster check-ins.

According to Reuters, IATA Regional Vice President for Africa and the Middle East, Kamil Alawadhi, said the iOS version was expected to launch on April 15.

"But the application will only achieve its success once airlines, different countries, [and] airports adopt it," said Alawadhi. "A huge amount of airlines have requested to be on board."

Reportedly, the UK's Virgin Atlantic airline has committed to trialling the app on its London to Barbados route from April 16. Barbados authorities have agreed to accept the digital pass at its border, making it one of the first countries to not require paper documentation.

Stay on top of all Apple news right from your HomePod. Say, "Hey, Siri, play AppleInsider," and you'll get latest AppleInsider Podcast. Or ask your HomePod mini for "AppleInsider Daily" instead and you'll hear a fast update direct from our news team. And, if you're interested in Apple-centric home automation, say "Hey, Siri, play HomeKit Insider," and you'll be listening to our newest specialized podcast in moments.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 13
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 10,502member
    At least in the U.S. I wonder where the source for that would come from.
    While my name & contact info are on file with my county health department (who administered my vaccination), all i got was an easily duplicated card recording the vaccine.

    I suspect that the U.S. dropped the ball on this one.   It's likely too late here.
    But, maybe not, any physician can see all the medications that I take simply be accessing a nationwide database -- so maybe my vaccination is on there.

    But, in any case, I have to wonder about the reliability of such an app.
  • Reply 2 of 13
    neilmneilm Posts: 915member
    Yes, that is indeed the question: how does authoritative and verifiable info get into the app?

    Like the poster above, I have a vaccine card from my county health department. They also texted me a persistent link to a state database certifying that I'm fully COVID vaccinated (hey, age has its privileges, even if they're not numerous). A reasonable person would accept those as authoritative — but how does that conclusion make its way into the app? Obviously not just on my say-so, because otherwise every twenty-something looking to party on the Mayan Riviera would be claiming to have had their shots.

    Most people won't be aware of this, but the World Health Organization has long sponsored an "International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis," colloquially known as the "Yellow Card," that's used by international travelers to demonstrate their vaccination status. These Yellow Cards are issued by the national health authority in each country, which in the case of the USA is the CDC. Blank cards are available (in bulk only) from the US Government Printing Office as document CDC 731. Small quantities at big markups are sold on Amazon. Yellow Card vaccination history is entered by the medical authority administering the inoculation, signed and officially stamped, and is accepted by border control authorities worldwide.

    The IATA app needs an authentication process of some sort prior to travel use.
    edited March 31 GeorgeBMackurai_kage
  • Reply 3 of 13
    GG1GG1 Posts: 458member
    I would've thought that a superset (or new consortium) of OneWorld, Star, and SkyTeam would be a convenient way to handle this worldwide, as they have the mechanisms in place for this purpose. Not sure about IATA (not doubting them, just not familiar with them). Either way would allow this info to not be tied to any country (to increase adoption).

    But I can see that international vaccine verification could be used for much more than travel purposes (and this may be a bad thing).
  • Reply 4 of 13
    neilmneilm Posts: 915member
    GG1 said:
    I would've thought that a superset (or new consortium) of OneWorld, Star, and SkyTeam would be a convenient way to handle this worldwide, as they have the mechanisms in place for this purpose. Not sure about IATA (not doubting them, just not familiar with them). Either way would allow this info to not be tied to any country (to increase adoption).

    But I can see that international vaccine verification could be used for much more than travel purposes (and this may be a bad thing).
    The potential advantage of IATA is that it's a 75-year-old airline industry organization to which every international airline you've every heard of — and an amazing number you won't have! — already belongs. A UN agency such as the WHO might in theory be better placed for the job, except that we'd probably all be dead of old age before it happened.
    edited March 31 GG1
  • Reply 5 of 13
    GG1GG1 Posts: 458member
    neilm said:
    GG1 said:
    I would've thought that a superset (or new consortium) of OneWorld, Star, and SkyTeam would be a convenient way to handle this worldwide, as they have the mechanisms in place for this purpose. Not sure about IATA (not doubting them, just not familiar with them). Either way would allow this info to not be tied to any country (to increase adoption).

    But I can see that international vaccine verification could be used for much more than travel purposes (and this may be a bad thing).
    The potential advantage of IATA is that it's a 75-year-old airline industry organization to which every international airline you've every heard of — and an amazing number you won't have! — already belongs. A UN agency such as the WHO might in theory be better placed for the job, except that we'd probably all be dead of old age before it happened.
    Thanks, good info. I wasn't familiar with IATA. If every airline belongs to IATA, that is a better body to do this. I don't think every country belongs to WHO (Taiwan is an example). The IATA gets around these political issues.
  • Reply 6 of 13
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 2,277member
    neilm said:
    Yes, that is indeed the question: how does authoritative and verifiable info get into the app?

    Like the poster above, I have a vaccine card from my county health department. They also texted me a persistent link to a state database certifying that I'm fully COVID vaccinated (hey, age has its privileges, even if they're not numerous). A reasonable person would accept those as authoritative — but how does that conclusion make its way into the app? Obviously not just on my say-so, because otherwise every twenty-something looking to party on the Mayan Riviera would be claiming to have had their shots.

    Most people won't be aware of this, but the World Health Organization has long sponsored an "International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis," colloquially known as the "Yellow Card," that's used by international travelers to demonstrate their vaccination status. These Yellow Cards are issued by the national health authority in each country, which in the case of the USA is the CDC. Blank cards are available (in bulk only) from the US Government Printing Office as document CDC 731. Small quantities at big markups are sold on Amazon. Yellow Card vaccination history is entered by the medical authority administering the inoculation, signed and officially stamped, and is accepted by border control authorities worldwide.

    The IATA app needs an authentication process of some sort prior to travel use.
    Those yellow cards are really only just used for yellow fever vaccine. Only a handful of countries in Africa require you've had the vaccine for entry. I've been to several countries in Africa that require it, but oddly, I was never asked to see mine going through customs. 
  • Reply 7 of 13
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,694member
    The card you receive is for your records only, there is medical record behind it, even if you're unaware of it. (Even those who are uninsured getting vaccinated, the administering clinic submits for reimbursement from the federal government, via a record of the shot). You can lose the card and it's no big deal. So no, the US hasn't "dropped the ball" on this. It'll be fine. 
    williamlondon
  • Reply 8 of 13
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 10,502member
    The card you receive is for your records only, there is medical record behind it, even if you're unaware of it. (Even those who are uninsured getting vaccinated, the administering clinic submits for reimbursement from the federal government, via a record of the shot). You can lose the card and it's no big deal. So no, the US hasn't "dropped the ball" on this. It'll be fine. 

    Yeh, that sounds reasonable...
    But I wonder how reliable and usable that information is?   It had to have been established back when such things were not looked upon favorably.  And, the recent history of national public health information is more shameful than anything (John Hopkins seemed better informed than the CDC or NIH)

    If we learn nothing from all of this it is that our public health agencies need to be restored to competency.
    edited March 31
  • Reply 9 of 13
    frantisekfrantisek Posts: 742member
    Why the h... bother with such horrid nonsense. Vaccine only purpose is to prevent strong impact on person health or death. It has no, no impact on getting infected again so not protecting you from spreading "covid" further. Are all ppl blind?
    And..... If you look at the last paragraph on page 39 of this recent FDA-CDC circular, you will see a confession of fact by the CDC. They have never had and still do not have the SARS CoV-2 virus isolated (https://www.fda.gov/media/134922/download). The importance of this is as follows - under the FOI (Freedom of Information Act), some major research universities and governments in the UK, Ireland, Scotland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and now the US admit that they have not isolated a single SARS CoV virus ‑ 2 .
    How can one make vaccine for ever changing virus that even was not isolated? Why would anyone healthy be willing to be lab mouse to test unproven vaccine on disease you need to be tested to know you have it? And so on...

    muthuk_vanalingamwilliamlondon
  • Reply 10 of 13
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,259member
    neilm said:
    GG1 said:
    I would've thought that a superset (or new consortium) of OneWorld, Star, and SkyTeam would be a convenient way to handle this worldwide, as they have the mechanisms in place for this purpose. Not sure about IATA (not doubting them, just not familiar with them). Either way would allow this info to not be tied to any country (to increase adoption).

    But I can see that international vaccine verification could be used for much more than travel purposes (and this may be a bad thing).
    The potential advantage of IATA is that it's a 75-year-old airline industry organization to which every international airline you've every heard of — and an amazing number you won't have! — already belongs. A UN agency such as the WHO might in theory be better placed for the job, except that we'd probably all be dead of old age before it happened.
    For the very immediate future the beta test for the app will be one airline on one route, to Barbados. UK-based Virgin Atlantic will test the IATA app on its London to Barbados route beginning April 16. Barbados said it will accept the pass at its border, perhaps the only country so far to accept digital representations tho no doubt others would join them in short order as long as the trial is successful. 
  • Reply 11 of 13
    frantisek said:
    Why the h... bother with such horrid nonsense. Vaccine only purpose is to prevent strong impact on person health or death. It has no, no impact on getting infected again so not protecting you from spreading "covid" further. Are all ppl blind?
    And..... If you look at the last paragraph on page 39 of this recent FDA-CDC circular, you will see a confession of fact by the CDC. They have never had and still do not have the SARS CoV-2 virus isolated (https://www.fda.gov/media/134922/download). The importance of this is as follows - under the FOI (Freedom of Information Act), some major research universities and governments in the UK, Ireland, Scotland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and now the US admit that they have not isolated a single SARS CoV virus ‑ 2 .
    How can one make vaccine for ever changing virus that even was not isolated? Why would anyone healthy be willing to be lab mouse to test unproven vaccine on disease you need to be tested to know you have it? And so on...
    Interesting information and valid questions. And the pro-vaccine group says - "Follow science", while they are the ones actually suppressing the science, which is to ask questions and get solid answers before concluding either way. Anyone who asks valid questions about the vaccines are labelled as anti-vaxxers, anti-science etc etc and the valid questions are suppressed with a one-liner - "you are against science".
    edited March 31
  • Reply 12 of 13
    willettwillett Posts: 25member
    frantisek said:
    Why the h... bother with such horrid nonsense. Vaccine only purpose is to prevent strong impact on person health or death. It has no, no impact on getting infected again so not protecting you from spreading "covid" further. Are all ppl blind?
    And..... If you look at the last paragraph on page 39 of this recent FDA-CDC circular, you will see a confession of fact by the CDC. They have never had and still do not have the SARS CoV-2 virus isolated (https://www.fda.gov/media/134922/download). The importance of this is as follows - under the FOI (Freedom of Information Act), some major research universities and governments in the UK, Ireland, Scotland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and now the US admit that they have not isolated a single SARS CoV virus ‑ 2 .
    How can one make vaccine for ever changing virus that even was not isolated? Why would anyone healthy be willing to be lab mouse to test unproven vaccine on disease you need to be tested to know you have it? And so on...

    Why bother to spread obvious misinformation on this site?  Few readers here are going to believe that you know more than the epidemiologists and mRNA biological engineers working on vaccines.  The testing information is publicly available if you really wanted to inform yourself (more evidence, on vaccine reduction of asymptomatic spread, just came out days ago).  I for one am much more likely to fly on airlines and go to group events if I know that the person next to me has demonstrated that they are very unlikely to infect me or shed virus all over me to pass on to my next contact.  You can fly on airlines, or go to events, that don’t check.  There may be a niche market for such.  Maybe if you search enough, you can also find some resturants where the cooks and servers don’t wash their hands after using the toilet.
    edited March 31 GeorgeBMacwilliamlondon
  • Reply 13 of 13
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 10,502member
    frantisek said:
    Why the h... bother with such horrid nonsense. Vaccine only purpose is to prevent strong impact on person health or death. It has no, no impact on getting infected again so not protecting you from spreading "covid" further. Are all ppl blind?
    And..... If you look at the last paragraph on page 39 of this recent FDA-CDC circular, you will see a confession of fact by the CDC. They have never had and still do not have the SARS CoV-2 virus isolated (https://www.fda.gov/media/134922/download). The importance of this is as follows - under the FOI (Freedom of Information Act), some major research universities and governments in the UK, Ireland, Scotland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and now the US admit that they have not isolated a single SARS CoV virus ‑ 2 .
    How can one make vaccine for ever changing virus that even was not isolated? Why would anyone healthy be willing to be lab mouse to test unproven vaccine on disease you need to be tested to know you have it? And so on...


    Well, no, that's not correct.
    The main benefit of all vaccines from a public health standpoint is to reduce the spread of disease.

    That's why measles used to be gone -- but has now come back -- because of anti-vaxxers.

    Yes, the vaccine protects you.  And yes, you can become infected.  But your body rejects the infection -- so your chances of infecting others is greatly reduced.
    The vaccine is not perfect.   But it's a lot better than letting the pandemic kill another half million Americans.
    GG1williamlondonwillett
Sign In or Register to comment.