Introduction of COVID-19 Vaccine Passport
Currently, Hawaii is developing a COVID-19 vaccine passport that will make any travel to the island much easier. This is a development that any area that is dependent on tourism may be paying attention to.
In this week’s On the Tech Talk segment, Luis Alvarez, CEO of Alvarez Technology Group, discusses the story behind the COVID-19 vaccine passport as well as its impact.
Hawaii on COVID-19 Passport
As it is known to many, Luiz said that Hawaii shut pretty earlier to travelers because of limited access. Hawaii being an island, didn’t have a lot of options for the containment of the virus. And to curb the spread, they had to close.
Over time, they have opened up. But it requires you to take a test at least 72 hours before you fly. Also, on getting into the island, you have to quarantine for few days to validate the test’s accuracy. The situation was not the best experience for the travelers. Unless you had to go or had enough time to go through all these processes.
On March 1st, if you were already vaccinated and had both shots of Moderna or Pfizer, they developed a COVID-19 vaccine passport. This is an electronic way to confirm that you are essentially COVID-free. With a passport, you can travel from one island to the other without having to quarantine when you get there.
Global Implementation of COVID-19 Vaccination Passport
Luiz thinks from now on, it is not going to be only Hawaii implementing the COVID-19 vaccine passport. It is expected that both domestic, as well as international travel, will use the travel to curb the spread of the virus. This will ensure that any traveler is safe, not carrying the virus, and has no possibility of infecting their destination population.
Developments by Tech Companies
On the same note, some companies like Google, as well as Microsoft, are working on a digital passport or an app that can confirm you are COVID-19 free. The app will apply to international travel. Meaning that you do not have to quarantine once you get to your destination.
According to Luiz, the passport is expected to last for six months. The medical practitioners are saying that the virus behaves like the common flu. This means that you may need to have a booster shot yearly. Like how a tetanus shot is renewed every ten years, the COVID-19 vaccine will be an annual shot. With the vaccine, people will now be able to travel as immunity is being developed. So that fewer people get sick and those who get infected are immune.
The pilot program is available for six months. And only if you are flying from L.A to Honolulu on United Airlines or Delta. This means that if you want to go to Hawaii, it must be from L.A direct to Honolulu. Luiz said that there would be a possibility of traveling to other parts of the island. Primarily due to the COVID-19 vaccine passport’s success.
Into the Future
With the current situation, the governor of Hawaii will be expected to open a little more. With consideration of the legitimate concerns of protecting people. Hawaii highly depends on tourism, and without people visiting, it may hurt its economy.
The build-up of the passport sounds very interesting. And it suggests how technology has been on the front line in dealing with a big situation like COVID-19. Which has turned society upside down for the past year. Luiz added that we may never get back to normal, but may get back to a little normal.
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