Last April 1, the South Korean government announced its plans to introduce blockchain-powered vaccine passports via a smartphone app later this month.
According to international news organisation Reuters, South Korea is joining other nations in introducing vaccine certificates that will enable cross-border travel while mitigating the risk of infections.
Moreover, South Korean Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun suggested that the country can gain various benefits from this project.
‘The introduction of a vaccine passport or ‘Green Pass’ will only allow those who have been vaccinated to experience the recovery to their daily lives,’ he mentioned during a daily inter-agency pandemic response meeting.
Chung further explained that they plan to develop this blockchain technology to provide security against identity theft.
‘[Systems] in other countries also do not store personal information while allowing the verification of vaccination statuses,’ Chung added.
Based on the report of Reuters, the South Korean government has already expanded its vaccine rollout with vaccines developed by Pfizer and BioNTech and will start with the general public aged 75 and older
Additionally, Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) reported that around 877,000 first doses of the vaccine have already been administered as of March 31.
Rise of blockchain-based vaccine passports
Despite other nations’ strong opposition to the vaccine certificates due to its privacy-impinging nature, more countries, alongside South Korea, will also introduce their own blockchain-based vaccine passports.
According to the latest reports from Cointelegraph, Brazil will also begin using a blockchain-based system to track vaccinations this September.
Additionally, American multinational technology company International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) will also help New York develop the Excelsior Pass—a free, voluntary platform that confirms an individual’s test result or proof of vaccination.
The New York state government stated the purpose of the pass is to scan and validate the travellers’ passports to ensure that they meet any COVID vaccination or testing requirements.
Similarly, the Singapore government also developed a blockchain-based solution last February to manage health documents such as COVID-19 test results, as well as facilitate cross-border travel.
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