At a time when the Omicron variant of COVID-19 has been detected from South Africa with “an increased risk of reinfection,” alarming countries worldwide and perpetrating travel restrictions and the closure of borders, it cannot be denied that the coronavirus pandemic is starting to become endemic. The new variant is still being tested if it is resistant to existing vaccines in circulation.
This means that governments cannot relax as of yet and need to be vigilant in preventing the spread of the virus. Key to protecting the people from the devastating effects of COVID-19 as seen in its first and second waves is vaccinating the population.
VXPASS has foreseen this need and has created a digital vaccine card that can be presented to businesses that require proof of vaccination for its customers through vaccine on blockchain, which is also an innovative way for vaccine records to be tracked by governments, updated in near real-time.
And the City of San Francisco has recently recognized this new technology as something that its citizens can benefit from by approving its use for the entire city. Now, fully vaccinated individuals can present their VXPASS digital vaccine card, which comes in the form of a QR code generated by the app, and a photo identification when entering a restaurant, mall or anywhere proof of vaccination is required within the City of San Francisco.
“This is the first blockchain-based vaccine card service accepted by San Francisco. San Francisco was the first to open it up and say we will accept some sort of digital pass in the US, so it is essentially the gold standard of adoption. They have updated their site to reflect this and now you cannot be turned away by showing a VXPASS to a business in the city,” Justin Pauly, VXPASS Executive Director of International Affairs, said.
Vaccine on Blockchain
Because VXPASS has decided to build on Bitcoin, it has the capability to immutably record data that lasts forever, scale and accommodate big data, lower its transaction fees to just fractions of a cent, and facilitate instant transactions.
VXPASS is built on the BSV enterprise blockchain. BSV has been found to be the best implementation of the original Bitcoin vision as it is the largest scalable public blockchain that can be used to improve systems and streamline processes. In short, it is not just a speculative investment like BTC, but a technology that takes pride in its utility and potential for global adoption.
“BSV is viable and reliable, and it’s quick enough that we can do it in a live demo. You don’t have to sit and wait—it just always works. The cool thing is that with BSV we could literally write 10 billion records a month and have plenty of bandwidth left over to do whatever else we wanted,” Pauly revealed.
So, with digital vaccine cards on the BSV blockchain, it will be easy for governments to track and monitor vaccination rollout. And because VXPASS uses a specific technique that provides anonymity and gives back control of data to its owners, the privacy of its users is protected. In this way, the identities of vaccine cardholders will not be exposed to the public.
Unlike other electronic vaccine card providers, VXPASS’ vaccine on blockchain is a digital version of the physical vaccine card, all data of which is verified and approved of by certified pharmacies. In this way, the digital vaccine card can be checked against state databases and verified to be authentic.
“The pharmacists would look at that [identification]. They then look you up on the database, make sure that the information is correct, and then they essentially stake their name and their operational ID against that record, validating that it is correct,” Pauly explained.
“The other solutions are essentially self-validation and are not really verified—they are essentially just a picture of your card. Ours is verified against a credentialing body—sometimes its doctors, most of the time its pharmacists,” Pauly added.
The Future of Nationwide Adoption
As mentioned above, because VXPASS is built on a blockchain that is capable of unlimited scaling, the sky is the limit when it comes to the number of vaccine records it can accommodate. So, it would not be overly ambitious for VXPASS to have a goal of nationwide—and even global—adoption.
The City of San Francisco is already taking the lead in digital vaccine card adoption, and it is a real possibility for vaccine on blockchain to be adopted by the entire United States. And with the new variants continuously emerging, the need for vaccine records is here to stay.
“We have onboarded around 50,000 pharmacies inside the United States, and we have done that in eight days. In terms of onboarding pharmacies, we are averaging something like nine hundred an hour. I think we are going to see a hockey-stick spike in onboarding,” Pauly said.
Blockchain technology, when developed right and scaled continuously, is something that can truly change the world, not just in healthcare but across all other industries. A massive amount of data is being generated globally on a per second basis, and making meaning out of data is a next-generation power that has to be utilized now.