Current Events

“Vaccine Passport”

New York becomes the first state in America to unveil a COVID-19 “digital pass.”

What It Does.
Why It Matters.

Current Events

“Excelsior Pass”

  • A free app that reveals your COVID-19 vaccine or test status.
  • Where will it be used? “Theaters, Major Stadiums and Arenas, Weddings Receptions, Catered Events & Other Events in Accordance with New York State Guidelines.” The state *ALREADY* requires testing or vaccine records for specific events – this app centralizes the process.
  • Voluntary for NY’ers and businesses.
Current Events

“The reopening of key economic activities in New York State, such as arts and entertainment venues, stadiums and arenas, and weddings and catered events, will require proof of a vaccine or negative test for attendees.”

New York Forward website on how this app will be used. The app, developed with IBM, links your personal information with the state database to confirm "digital proof of a test result and/or vaccine."
Current Events

How Do You Qualify?

No positive COVID-19 test within the last ten days and:

  • at least two weeks since your final vaccine dose, OR
  • negative PCR test w/in the last 3 days, OR
  • negative antigen (rapid test) within the last 6 hours.
  • Tests must be administered in the state of New York.


Current Events

Something To Consider:

  • COVID-19 PCR tests have about a 20% false-negative rate.
  • The incubation period of the SARS-CoV-2 virus can be upwards of 2 weeks. A negative test more than 24 hours before an event may not accurately represent one’s status.
  • Recent data shows promising results for COVID-19 vaccines – a recipient’s length of immunity and ability to transmit the virus remains TBD.
Current Events

“…vaccination passports could perpetuate existing inequities within countries if those who are vaccinated can enjoy the freedom to move about their community while others remain in lockdown.”

Yara Asi, University of Central Florida in Orlando, in a recent essay expressing concerns about "passports" exacerbating inequities from race, wealth, healthcare access and beyond - a class of people who have a vaccine vs. those who do not.
Current Events

“The busboy, the janitor, the waiter that works at a restaurant, wants to be surrounded by employees that are going back to work safely — and wants to have the patrons ideally be safe as well,”

Dr. Brian Anderson, Mitre – a nonprofit helping to lead an effort called the "Vaccine Credential Initiative" to help create software to support "verifiable" vaccination records. Microsoft and the Mayo Clinic also are part of this coalition.
Current Events

COVID-19 testing has long been floated as an important tool for re-opening because estimates remain that upwards of 50% of COVID-19 cases may come from asymptomatic spread. The Washington Post reports the Biden administration is working on a vaccine passport but has struggled for many reasons, including trying to coordinate with more than 17 different digital versions available. Challenges include: privacy, forgery, efficacy.

view sources



Excelsior Pass: ANNOUNCEMENT

Opinion: COVID vaccine passports may be coming — what’s the downside?

The Washington Post:

The Biden administration and private companies are working to develop a standard way of handling credentials — often referred to as “vaccine passports” — that would allow Americans to prove they have been vaccinated against the novel coronavirus as businesses try to reopen.
The effort has gained momentum amid President Biden’s pledge that the nation will start to regain normalcy this summer and with a growing number of companies — from cruise lines to sports teams — saying they will require proof of vaccination before opening their doors again.
The administration’s initiative has been driven largely by arms of the Department of Health and Human Services, including an office devoted to health information technology, said five officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the effort. The White House this month took on a bigger role coordinating government agencies involved in the work, led by coronavirus coordinator Jeff Zients, with a goal of announcing updates in coming days, said one official. READ MORE