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Tracking the vaccine: How countries are planning to track vaccine recipients

A number of governments and tech companies are working on vaccine passports to help track those vaccinated. These vaccine passport systems are aimed to be digital registers to manage and track all those who have received the vaccines. These systems will work as a form of proof of vaccination and allow the recipients better ease of movement.

US-based tech companies Microsoft, Salesforce and Oracle have also decided to partner up to create a vaccine tracking and tracing system, known as the Vaccination Credential Initiative (VCI). Their goal is to allow secure access vaccination records; patient information including demographics and number of doses; Safety information such as possible adverse events following immunisation as well as vaccine administration details.

The VCI information will provide vaccine recipients with an encrypted digital copy of immunization credentials to store in a digital wallet of their choice. Using the SMART Health Cards specification, these vaccine apps will also send reminders for a follow-up appointment to receive a second dose with an integrated track-and-trace system for defaulters. Their main hurdle will be getting health centres to participate, as some providers may have more resources than others.

South Africa is currently moving closer to its own vaccination program and the government has already announced it is working on a vaccine ID system to accompany the vaccine rollouts. The electronic vaccination data system (EVDS), will record all those vaccinated into a national register and vaccine recipients will also be provided with a vaccination card in order to track and trace their progress. The vaccination cards will especially be required by those wanting to travel out of the country. 

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