South Korea is taking extra precautions for COVID 19 prevention. It announced on April 1 that South Korea’s government is underway to launch a digital certification system this month. The system will verify a person’s COVID-19 vaccination status through a mobile app. Hence, providing COVID-19 vaccine passports to immunized citizens.
Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said:
The people will be able to experience a sense of return to normality from a vaccine passport or green card systems.
According to Chung, the mobile app will allow international travelers to show digital proof of vaccination. Chung even discloses the fact that the system’s underlying technology is built on Blockchain technology that will protect, will provide security against any possible identity theft.
Chung further added:
(Systems) in other countries also do not store personal information while allowing the verifications of vaccination statuses.
The very initiative has been taken in order to boost people’s participation in the public vaccine program, in order to bring back cross-border travel while keeping infection risks under control. As Chung said:
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.
South Korea has begun its vaccination program on February 26. Over a number of 850,000 people have been given the COVID-19 vaccine shots. The government is planning to vaccinate 12 million people by June, with an aim to achieve herd immunity by November. It expanded its vaccine rollout further, giving vaccinations to senior citizens aged 75 and older with the vaccine jointly developed by Pfizer and BioNTech. However, the country saw a spike of 551 cases on Wednesday.
The delivery of the vaccines produced by pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca and Oxford University was pushed back due to the production delay by the manufacturer, to which Chung stated:
The April volume of some 430,000 AstraZeneca shots through the COVAX Facility project, which we believed was going to be delayed by several weeks, is scheduled to arrive on April 3
To prevent delays in vaccine shipments, the government will launch an interagency task force. The task force, under the supervision of the health minister, will look after the swift procurement of vaccines from overseas, as stated by Chung.
International regions like New York, China, Israel, Brazil, and the European Union have already embraced the implementation of vaccine passports, while some are still against the concept of it. The International Air Transport Association, with its app ‘Travel Pass’, might become the standard for cross-border travel.
The New York state government said :
Businesses and venues can scan and validate your pass to ensure you meet any COVID vaccination or testing requirements for entry.
There are also reports of illegal activities of non-blockchain-based vaccination certificates, where crypto was found to be preventing its imposition. As reported by BBC, CheckPoint found 1,200 ads for vaccines and vaccine passports on the darknet:
Check Point investigators found many sellers offering forged documents, including one supposedly from the UK, with a vaccination card for $150 using the hard-to-trace cryptocurrency Bitcoin as the payment method.