The time has come for federal and state leaders to come to a mutual understanding that the use of the hard copy CDC vaccination record is no longer a viable solution to tracking and proving vaccination status. As we have all seen in the press, the proliferation of fraud involving the hard copy cards is ever increasing. We have seen federal prosecutions for the sale and trafficking of fraudulent cards, and in a more recent matter, a local police chief was instrumental in having false cards distributed to officers of the very department that he is leading.
I have blogged and discussed this topic until it has made me nauseous. Coming from the U.S., a leader in healthcare in the world (yes, I know there will a lot of commentary and debate on this statement), we as a nation are taking a very poor approach to identifying vaccination status. A digital record is, for the most part, undeniable proof of vaccination status. Yes, there are going to be some limited instances of fraud that will come from an unscrupulous provider indicating that an individual was given the vaccine, but those instances will be much more limited than the current flood into the market of false and fraudulent cards.
A simple app with a bar or QR code, will make access to the status easy, ensure speed in demonstrating proof when needed, and allow investigators who are already at the breaking point with healthcare fraud cases, available to focus on the large dollar and other related matters that should be taking their professional time.
I was recently at a NYC venue where proof of vaccination was required for entry. In NYC, you must be vaccinated to enter anything public. The line to show proof of vaccination was enormous and created a huge crowd that spilled into the already busy NYC streets. Having to individually look at a physical card and switching back and forth between looking at physical cards and digital proof (NYC and NYS use a digital vaccination record) fostered part of the delay.
We are already tracking vaccination records through health departments, and this would provide for a more secure method of demonstrating proof of vaccination, speed entry into venues and allow for the redirection of resources back to stemming the unbelievable tide of healthcare fraud. The recent Secret Service study that $100 billion in fraud exists from COVID-19 alone should be the message that is needed to get the federal and state governments on the same page.