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myGP launches UK’s first ‘vaccine passport’

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Vaccine passport
The idea of a mandatory proof of vaccination certificate in the UK is still up in the air

Healthcare management app myGP has today introduced a COVID-19 vaccine certification feature – the first of its kind in the UK.

The TICKet feature will allow its users to show they are sufficiently protected from coronavirus by displaying a green tick around their profile 12 days after they have had their booster shot.

This will come directly from the patient’s medical records and the developers are hoping to use it to speed up the reopening of the UK’s hospitality sector.

The medical services platform is currently used by around 97 per cent of GP practices in the country, allowing patients to book appointments, access health services and renew prescriptions.

It also gives people the ability to access their own medical records, including their vaccination status, helping around 200,000 patients do so in the last two months alone.

Barchester Healthcare and Lilian Faithful were the two care homes chosen to pilot the feature for their staff, as the UK government’s stance on vaccine passports currently still in the balance.

In February Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the BBC that the country “cannot be discriminatory” to those who are unable to have a vaccine.

However at the start of this month he also said there is “definitely going to be a world in which international travel will use vaccine passports” while on a visit to Middlesbrough.

A review of how effective these passports are is currently underway, with a number of events set to be monitored for the programme.

Led by cabinet office minister Michael Gove an announcement on the findings is expected on June 21st, the same day all COVID restrictions in the country are set to be lifted.

Writing for Health Tech World, David Newell of Gemserv Health commented on the idea of vaccine passports, saying “one lesson that we have to learn from earlier in the pandemic is that ethics and privacy need to be front and centre in this debate.

“Getting the ethical and data privacy issues surrounding vaccine passports right will have a profound impact on the economy and, in turn, on our medium-term mental health and our long-term wellness.”

Harlequins Rugby Club has already agreed to help test the myGP feature at one of their home games.

The club’s CEO Laurie Dalrymple said: “the current social distancing rules mean that most professional sports clubs and event venues will struggle to get up to 50% capacity, which in reality is not a financially viable business model.

“We are therefore very keen to look at all types of innovative solutions which could help safely support the return of a greater number of fans to stadiums.”

Developed by iPLATO Healthcare, TICKet is currently only available on iOS but other versions are expected to be released in the coming weeks.

The company has also partnered with V-Health Passport to create a full COVID status platform that still provides its users vaccination status but also incorporates negative test results, antibody test results and proof of vaccine exemption.

Hillary Cannon, director of the myGP TICKet project, commented: “Recognising the likelihood that a user may need, or indeed want, to demonstrate their vaccination status, we developed this feature to isolate just vaccination information.

“All access is controlled by the patient, and nothing is stored or displayed without a user’s explicit consent.

“We all know that lockdowns and social distancing have brought live events, restaurants, and the hospitality sector – all of our most beloved industry sectors – to their knees.

“So It has been a passion project of mine to reopen these businesses at capacity, or as close as possible to it, as soon as possible. The real beauty of this technology is that it is universal and available to everyone registered at a GP surgery in England.”

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