New York Launches Nation’s First ‘Vaccine Passport’
New York now has the nation’s first “Covid-19 Passport”. On Friday it launched an app that lets people prove they have been fully vaccinated against coronavirus or have recently tested negative. It’s called the “Excelsior Pass”, and it gives people the ability to attend events such as weddings, sports games, shows, concerts and more. These are venues that host more people than the state’s social gathering limit of 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors.
The app is funded by the state and available for free to businesses and anyone with vaccination records or test results in New York. It works like an airline boarding pass. People will be able to prove their health status with a digital QR code.
If you are in New York, you can just download the Excelsior Pass app. Then you enter name, date of birth, zip code and answer a series of personal questions to confirm your identity. The data will come from the state’s vaccine registry and also will be linked to testing data from a number of pre-approved testing companies. The New York system, built on IBM’s digital health pass platform, is provided via blockchain technology, so neither IBM nor any business will have access to private medical information.
An entertainment venue will simply scan the QR code and get a green check or a red X. The app won’t show any health information when scanned.
Participation in Excelsior Pass is voluntary. New Yorkers can always show alternate proof of vaccination or testing, like another mobile application or paper form, directly at a business or venue. Interested New Yorkers can download the Excelsior Pass Wallet app for Android here and for iOS here. Interested businesses can download the Excelsior Pass Scanner app for Android here and for iOS here.