Example Track 1

Tracking COVID-19: Digital Vaccine Credentials and Exposure Notification Apps

Dec 01, 2021

10:15 AM - 10:40 AM

Hayden Huang

Assistant Director, Science, Technology Assessment, and Analytics

GAO

How might health IT help us slow COVID-19 transmission? Digital vaccine credentials certify that a person has been vaccinated or tested negative for COVID-19, and these credentials can be used to safely reopen social and economic activities, including travel. Exposure notification apps allow for more rapid and broader contact tracing—notifying users if they were near a person who later tested positive for an infectious disease. However, both technologies have sparked questions about privacy, effectiveness, interoperability, and equity that may limit their use and potential public health benefits.