What you need to know
- Los Angeles residents will be able to prove they are vaccinated with the Wallet app.
- Digital proof of vaccination will be able to be added to the app.
Reported by Bloomberg, those who receive the COVID-19 vaccine will be able to add proof of their vaccination to the Wallet app on the iPhone and Apple Watch.
The offering is being provided starting this week through a partnership with the startup Healthvana. It's initially geared toward ensuring people receive both doses of the two-shot regimens that have been authorized in the U.S., including through follow-up notifications before a second appointment.
Healthvana Chief Executive Officer Ramin Bastani says that it will be a valid form of vaccination proof for places that will require it, such as airlines and schools.
It will also give recipients a way to verify they have been vaccinated, which they can put into an Apple Wallet or competing Google platform "to prove to airlines, to prove to schools, to prove to whoever needs it," said Healthvana Chief Executive Officer Ramin Bastani.
The idea of digitally tracking vaccinations is theoretically helpful, as giving paper certifications can be lost.
While the immunizations are being tracked in registries, public health officials there also saw a need to give patients ownership of their own records, Jarashow said. They will receive a paper card tracking which vaccine they received and when, but that could be easily lost. "We're really concerned. We really want people to come back for that second dose," Jarashow said. And "we just don't have the capacity to be doing hundreds of medical record requests to find people's first doses and when they need to get their second."
Healthvana is working with other places like concert venues, employers, and universities to employ the technology, but it does not believe it will become a standard across the country.
"It's not going to be like one credit card you can use across the U.S.," he said. "Sometimes you can pay cash, sometimes you can use your Apple Wallet."