We could soon have evidence of getting the COVID-19 vaccine available to us on our phones, through the Service NSW app.
We could soon have evidence of getting the COVID-19 vaccine available to us on our phones, through the Service NSW app.

Vaccine passports to be displayed on your phone

NSW citizens are set to use their phones to prove their vaccination status, with ­officials closing in on a ­passport-style plan that could prohibit venue entry to ­people who refuse the jab.

High-level talks are under way between Service NSW and the federal government to plan data-sharing arrangements that would allow people to use the Service NSW app to publicly ­display vaccine certificates.

NSW government figures confirmed finalising this technology was a step closer to indoor venues or events using the vaccine as an entry requirement - a ­measure which they expect businesses such as clubs, ­airlines or entertainment ­venues could enforce.

Government figures are closely watching Israel's "green pass" program and eyeing the debate over its use to ban people from venues if they have rejected the jab. It comes as the Australian Defence Force will be brought in to ­assist in the federal government's vaccine program in aged-care homes from next week.

That development appeared to blindside NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard, who said it was "disappointing" and "problematic" to learn of the plan via media.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian will today announce that the Service NSW app has been downloaded more than four million times, by 75 per cent of the adult population of NSW.

It is an extraordinary digital reach the government expects will only increase if vaccine passport-style data was contained on the app.

 

Phase 1a of the nationwide vaccination program has begun. Picture: AAP Image/Dean Lewins
Phase 1a of the nationwide vaccination program has begun. Picture: AAP Image/Dean Lewins

 

Every state will need to institute ways for citizens to display their vaccination record, with those unable to use an app likely to require some sort of printout.

The update is in more recent times tied to the COVID safe check-in arrangements, which have been recorded 117 million times in the state.

Ms Berejiklian said the tech was a game-changer for businesses and customers.

"I want to thank the people of NSW for downloading the Service NSW app more than four million times … which continues to keep our community safe from COVID-19," she said.

"We are using technology to enhance the user experience and prioritise public safety, and these figures show that citizens have embraced our digital solutions."

Minister for Customer Service Victor Dominello said more than 80,000 businesses actively used the app.

"We have recently updated the app to enable customers to save the details of their dependants and soon the check-out will be easier for customers, with a new reminder notification around the corner," he said.

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said some 733,000 doses of the Pfizer and ­AstraZeneca vaccines are now in Australia.

He said almost 42,000 doses had been administered across the country, with almost 12,500 of those as part of the NSW rollout. Mr Hunt said he was "confident" that states that have been slow off the mark in administering vaccines will ramp up their ­efforts.

Originally published as Vaccine passports to be displayed on your phone


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