With the COVID-19 infection rate on the decline, and vaccination rates steadily increasing, companies worldwide are planning a return back to the office.
But with any return to work during a pandemic, the worries will follow: Can workplaces be safe? And how do you guarantee that to your workers?
Can workplaces be safe? And how do you guarantee that to your workers?
Vaccine and negative test passports are touted as solutions to safely returning to work but these solutions are faced with the social, political and ethical dilemmas.
Keeping Workplaces Safe
Companies have the moral and legal imperative to make their spaces safe for those entering, including staff and customers. Although the United States remains quite divided on the vaccine issue, it is certainly less of a concern in most other parts of the world.
Increasingly, however, even in the United States most large corporations are taking bold stands in favor of the vaccine.
Hands-down, being vaccinated appears to be the best available way to keep workplaces safe at this time. For this reason, more and more private corporations are incentivizing the vaccine or mandating it all together.
Hands-down, being vaccinated appears to be the best available way to keep workplaces safe at this time.
For example, Target offers extra pay, plus free transportation to hourly associates who get their COVID-19 dose or booster. Instacart is also giving out $25 as an incentive.
Now, with the Pfizer vaccine receiving a full FDA authorization, companies like Google, McDonald’s and Deloitte are mandating the vaccine for any staff returning to the office.
Music venues and sports arenas also, amongst others, now require proof of vaccination for patrons to attend. And, in some countries, like Italy, government workers have to be vaccinated to return to their work. Otherwise, they face suspension.
Even though there are many people opposing vaccination, that's not to say everyone is against a vaccine mandate in workplaces. On the contrary, according to polls, 57% of people agree that vaccination should be a prerequisite for work.
According to polls, 57% of people agree that vaccination should be a prerequisite for work.
From Paper to Digital: The Time Is Now
With everything from our most private moments to our bank accounts, all existing almost exclusively in the cloud, in a digital form, the paper-based proof of vaccination is already very much antiquated.
We're all already quite familiar with paperless systems. Hence, a photo or paper vaccine card will just not cut it.
Even though the digitalization of health information may initially seem scary, it is very much happening all around us. Hospitals, businesses and government bodies already rely on digital software solutions to handle our sensitive information.
Hospitals, businesses and government bodies already rely on digital software solutions to handle our sensitive information.
Likewise, we need a sophisticated and secure solution to our vaccine records that protects health privacy and prevents forgeries. As soon as vaccinations for COVID-19 began in the United States, so did a market for forged vaccine cards.
What Does a Digital Solution Need?
A digital solution, or Vaccine Passport app, has to be completely secure (since health information is highly private); efficient, as in being able to verify vaccination status within seconds; and user-friendly, so there is no barrier to utilizing it.
Additionally, it should ideally be robust enough to be accepted universally, at least in the country or state one resides in.
What Digital Options Do Companies Have?
HR departments across the world are reluctant to keep personal health records of their employees. Although in some workplaces (like hospitals and vulnerable sector) it may be normal to ask for health records, this is not normal practice in most workplaces. The solution is a secure, third-party app.
The solution is a secure, third-party app.
Here are three great Vaccine Passport apps available to use right away that can be integrated into a workplace's return to office strategy.
All three of these apps have the same fundamental function: allow for the quick and easy verification of a person’s vaccination (or negative test) status.
Originally known amongst travel enthusiasts, CLEAR has now launched a new, free feature called Health Pass. Health Pass allows users to store their vaccine cards digitally. Health information uploads in a few minutes, with the app offering a frictionless experience on both Android and Apple devices.
Why choose CLEAR Health Pass:
- Instant access to Health Pass;
- Easily validate the jab after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine;
- Integrate Health Pass to a free account to access coronavirus lab results;
- Screen possible symptoms with regular health surveys;
- CLEAR is the trusted industry leader among consumers and businesses;
- Available on both iOS and Android.
What the App Store thinks:
- Overall user rating: 4.7 / 5
Many businesses have already implemented CLEAR, both in the private and public sector, including 9/11 Memorial & Museum, Little Caesars Arena, and the Seattle Sounders FC to monitor the health status of visitors.
Regarding the cost, it is not fixed. Interested businesses have to contact CLEAR for detailed pricing information. However, for individuals, the app is free to use and download.
Selected by The World Economic Forum as Technology Pioneer, Airside Digital Identity helps keep vaccination details safe and at hand whenever needed. With almost 9 million users, this iOS app offers digital vaccine provide solutions employees can trust.
Why choose Airside Digital Identity:
- Build on international-recognized security standards with flexible permission options;
- Everything is in one place. Upload ID, passport, and vaccination card and enjoy a smooth, contactless experiences;
- Setup in three steps.
What App Store says::
- Overall user rating: 3.1 / 5
Like CLEAR, numerous private corporations are trusting Airside to verify the health status of their employees, like Amadeus (leading travel technology company), Vision-Box (border control), and Thales Group (designer of electrical systems for the aerospace, defense, and transportation markets).
Airside does not specify pricing details. Interested businesses should contact the company for pricing information. That said, downloading the app from the Apple App Store is completely free.
Technically, VaxYes is not a mobile app yet. However, people can save their vaccination information in eWallet, which is essentially a digitized version of the vaccination card. With raving customer reviews, VaxYes makes it easy for any person to travel, attend shows, and step into any business.
Why choose VaxYes:
- VaxYes uses AES 256 Bit encryptions to ensure personal information stay secure in a HIPAA compliant environment
- Digital vaccination card 4-level verification
- No need to download any new apps. VaxYes integrates with eWallet, simplifying the process.
- Setup in three steps.
What Product Hunt says:
- Overall user rating: 5 / 5
In the words of an exec:
“As a seasoned IT executive, I sincerely congratulate everyone involved in the design and construction of the solution (VaxYes). I keep recommending it to everyone I know, as I believe it is the best concept in the market.” - Alejandro B
VaxYes is used extensively by people and businesses to receive vaccination information. To this day, VaxYes has digitally delivered healthcare services to a whooping of 1 million individuals.
And unlike the other apps, VaxYes is free-to-use for businesses. There's no sign-up or something to download. Just scan the QR code to verify an employee's VaxYes status, and you are good to go!
We All Differ, so Will Your Software Solution
It is unlikely that a single app will achieve global acceptance but as long as the various apps get some fundamental things right, businesses of all sizes can decide for themselves what will work best for their workforce.
Well-crafted, strategic messaging will likely be necessary for any successful rollout of any vaccine status checking, to avoid any negative fallout and repercussions. Keeping an inclusive, open culture has to be part of the mix.
Zynq is an all-in-one office management platform that works at the intersection of space, time and people. We offer a voluntary vaccination health declaration form and can even discuss a custom integrated workflow with one of these apps, for your RTO strategy.