Apple’s popular wallet app, which is preinstalled on all iPhones, not only contains credit cards and loyalty cards, but is also used for cinema, train, flight and theater tickets, for example. Apple stores even issue a ticket for use in the app when they reserve a slot to pick up a new gadget on launch day.
As such, it’s the perfect app to keep a COVID-19 vaccination record. This not only means that you not only have to memorize the little blue card with the batch number and date of your vaccination that you received at the vaccination center, but also that proof of your vaccination when upgrading to. a new iPhone model is automatically transferred. Apple Watch owners can also display the QR code on their wrist, as is already possible with airport boarding passes, payment cards and other cards stored in Apple Wallet.
Apple has made it possible for some third-party apps to add a COVID-19 vaccination record to the wallet app since the end of last year. Some U.S. cities like Los Angeles have already taken on the feature so those with two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine can prove their vaccination status with a digital card in Apple Wallet. However, acceptance was not too widespread.
Following in Apple’s footsteps, Google is expanding its wallet-like app, available on all Android phones, to help societies reopen during the global public health crisis. Starting today, Google Pay can save and display a COVID-19 vaccination card. When traveling abroad or attending some major events like Euro 2020 at Wembley Stadium, you will need to provide proof of vaccination or a negative test.
So far, only a few healthcare providers in the US have taken up Google and Apple for their virtual wallet solutions.
For those reading this in the UK, the UK government seems determined to require people to use their own NHS app rather than resorting to third-party solutions. The NHS app was recently updated to support a COVID-19 vaccination card. The NHS app is different from the NHS-COVID-19 app, which is designed to stop the virus from spreading by monitoring your movements and warning you if you’ve been around someone who later tests positive for an extended period of time has been. It’s available on iPhone and Android, and it also includes medical notes and anamnesis recorded by your GP.
With the solution from Google or Apple, your vaccination card could be accessible on multiple devices at the same time – and used by a smartwatch or other accessory.
Google says the Google Pay update will be “soon” available in all countries, potentially making this a truly internationally recognized option for travelers. In the meantime, the NHS app would need to be updated to use the solution created by Apple Wallet.