Los Angeles Now Issuing Digital Vaccine Certificates
Covid-19 vaccine recipients in Los Angeles County, a major virus hot spot, will be offered a digital record that will help ensure they get a second shot and could, eventually, be used to gain access to concert venues or airline flights.
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.
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.
Los Angeles-based Healthvana, founded in late 2014, runs a software platform that delivers test results to patients for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. It began working with the county earlier this year to provide Covid-19 test results to patients.
Those prior relationships with area residents made the startup a good fit for the digital vaccine record, said Claire Jarashow, director of vaccine preventable disease control at the county’s Department of Public Health.
Los Angeles County last week broke its record of new Covid-19 deaths and hospitalizations. It has been racing to distribute vaccines “as quickly as humanly possible,” Jarashow said.
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.” Read Full Story >