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Building robust and ethical vaccination verification systems


  • Zhang, Baobao

    (Cornell University)

  • Weissinger, Laurin
  • Himmelreich, Johannes
  • McMurry, Nina
  • Li, Tiffany

    (Yale Law School)

  • Scheinerman, Naomi
  • Kreps, Sarah


As countries begin to vaccinate their populations against COVID-19, creating systems to verify vaccine records will be vital to reopening businesses, educational institutions, and travel. We consider the challenges of building vaccine record verification (VRV) systems that involve data sharing by health care providers, methods for verifying vaccine records, and regulation of how entities (e.g., workplaces, schools, businesses, and airlines) may request proof of vaccination. In particular, we focus on the opportunities and risks associated with digital vaccine passport apps. We propose three ethical principles to guide the building of VRV systems: 1) aligning systems with vaccine prioritization, 2) upholding fairness and equity, and 3) building trustworthy technology that protects the public's health data.

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  • Zhang, Baobao & Weissinger, Laurin & Himmelreich, Johannes & McMurry, Nina & Li, Tiffany & Scheinerman, Naomi & Kreps, Sarah, 2020. "Building robust and ethical vaccination verification systems," OSF Preprints x2ucp, Center for Open Science.
  • Handle: RePEc:osf:osfxxx:x2ucp
    DOI: 10.31219/

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    Cited by:

    1. Sun, Xiaoqian & Wandelt, Sebastian & Zhang, Anming, 2021. "Vaccination passports: Challenges for a future of air transportation," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 394-401.
    2. Tenbensel, Tim & Cumming, Jacqueline & Willing, Esther, 2023. "The 2022 restructure of Aotearoa New Zealand's health system: Will it succeed in advancing equity where others have failed?," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 134(C).
    3. Li, Shengping & Rismanchi, Behzad & Aye, Lu, 2022. "A simulation-based bottom-up approach for analysing the evolution of residential buildings’ material stocks and environmental impacts – A case study of Inner Melbourne," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 314(C).

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