Digital vaccination cards are now possible inside Android, as Google updates its Passes API to store COVID testing and vaccination information
If you’ve had a COVID vaccine, chances are you were given a small card that confirmed what shot you had and when you had it. But paper-based cards are so 20th century.
In order to make the storage of vaccination information and testing easier, Google has updated its Passes API for the post-COVID world, adding in cards for tests and vaccinations.
Starting today, developers from healthcare organizations, government agencies and organizations authorised by public health authorities to distribute COVID vaccines and/or tests will have access to these APIs to create a digital version of COVID vaccination or test information.Google
Easy Way To Display Vaccination Credentials
The UK government has confirmed that it has no plans to bring in vaccine passports and ID cards. In the US, no such thing has been confirmed yet. And many places may require a vaccine to enter.
The idea with the updated Passes API is simple: it stores all your vaccine data securely on your phone. To access it, all you have to do is click the shortcut via their device’s screen.
Once you click the shortcut, your COVID vaccination will appear inside a card on your phone’s display, complete with a QR code that can be scanned.
The COVID Card app will also work offline and in areas of limited reception, so you will always be able to load your proof of vaccination wherever you are.
The card will confirm which vaccine you’ve had, how many shots, and the dates you had them. If venues and businesses start asking for proof of vaccine, this type of thing will be very useful.
Is this secure? How has Google made sure the information contained and stored within the Passes API is secure? Here’s the official line via the Google Developers Blog:
A lock screen is required in order to store a COVID Card on a device. This is for added security and to protect the user’s personal information. When a user wants to access their COVID Card, they will be asked for the password, pin or biometric method set up for their Android device.
How Do I Get a Vaccination Card on Android?
In order to get access to this feature, you will need an Android phone running on Android 5 or above. Google is now working with health industry bodies to get more people using COVID Cards on Android.
Richard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He is the editor and owner of KnowYourMobile.