Vaccines are one of the most powerful tools to fight against many deadly ailments. Hence we all have to get various vaccines during our lives.
And that’s not where it ends. Once we get the shot, it is important to procure the proof of vaccination—a vaccine certificate. This becomes especially important in the case of diseases such as COVID-19.
A vaccination QR Code greatly helps in this case.
But here’s the problem—the traditional paper-based certificates are not reliable anymore. With advancements in technology, it’s very easy for those certificates to be duplicated.
Hence, it becomes quite a task to ensure the authenticity of the certificate. Well, not anymore. Thanks to QR Codes!
In this article, we will discuss how vaccination QR Code works.
A. A quick explanation of the QR Code technology
Well, QR Codes store information just the way barcodes do. But they’re way ahead of the barcodes. They store a lot more information and scan much faster than the barcodes.
In addition, they also come with damage-resistant capabilities.
Due to such characteristics, QR Codes have picked up enormously in the last few years. In fact, they have replaced barcodes to a great extent.
Hence, you can see them being used across various industries for different use cases. From logistics management and digital payments to marketing communications and promotions, they’re doing it all.
And now they have made a huge entry on vaccine certificates too. Here’s how:
B. Vaccination QR Code
QR Codes help verify the genuineness of the vaccine certificates. It could be done in various possible ways.
For example, the medical facility, portal, or government providing the vaccination create a QR Code for each patient. This QR Code will have all the details of the person being vaccinated. This is called a Text QR Code.
Or to make it better, they can have details such as patient name, age, and date of vaccination on various web pages of their website. And then create QR Codes having these weblinks. Then these QR Code can be added to the respective vaccination QR Code certificate.
When scanned, it will take the end-users to all the vaccination information on your web portal. Since all the information is on your portal, no one will be able to tamper with it.
Alternatively, if you do have an information system or application, you can integrate QR Code generation into it.
C. What is a vaccination passport QR Code
A vaccination passport QR Code, also known as a vaccine passport or a digital health pass, is a digital representation of an individual’s COVID-19 vaccination status.
It typically contains information such as the individual’s name, date of birth, the type of COVID-19 vaccine(s) received, the date(s) of vaccination, and the location where the vaccinations were administered.
The specific details contained in a vaccination passport QR Code may vary from one country or region to another. Different governments and organizations have implemented their own systems and standards.
Some vaccine passports may also include additional health information, such as a negative COVID-19 test result, to provide a more comprehensive health status for the individual.
D. Examples of vaccination QR Code
Many countries across the world are using vaccination QR Code and lab reports. Here are some of them:
In India, every vaccine certificate for protection against the COVID-19 has a vaccination QR Code on it. The certificate has all the details such as the person’s name, age, gender, and date and place of vaccination.
Along with all this comes a vaccination QR Code at the bottom. However, it cannot be scanned using generic QR Code scanners. This possibly indicates that the data in vaccination QR Code can only be accessed by authorized personnel.
To travel within Europe, people need to produce proof of vaccination. The validity of the certificate happens to be till 9 months from the date of the shot.
Each of the certificates comes in the national language as well as English. It also has a vaccination QR Code to make the data safe and secure.
The app named BeWare is used in the country for contact tracing. The app also helps citizens access their ‘proof of vaccination’.
People have to wait for two weeks after receiving the second dose of vaccination. Once done, the app shows a green shield with their information.
It also displays a vaccination QR Code which helps the authorities to link the certificate to their national vaccine register.
VitalPass in Columbia was the first-ever digital vaccine passport created in Latin America.
Just like the examples mentioned above, this certificate also comes with a vaccination QR Code. The certificate helps people move freely across any COVID restrictions.
E. Why are QR Codes the right fit for vaccination vials and certificates
QR Codes are often used for vaccination vials and certificates for several reasons:
1. Efficient data storage
QR Codes can store a significant amount of data, including vaccination details such as the vaccine type, batch number, and expiration date. This makes them an efficient way to encode and store relevant information in a small space.
2. Easy accessibility
QR Codes can be easily scanned using smartphones and other digital devices. This makes it convenient for healthcare providers, authorities, and individuals to access and verify vaccination information quickly and accurately.
3. Standardization and compatibility
QR Codes have become a standardized format for encoding data, making them compatible with various scanning devices and software applications. This ensures that the information encoded in the QR Code can be easily read and interpreted by different systems.
4. Security and authentication
QR Codes can be encrypted and secured, making it difficult for unauthorized parties to alter or tamper with the information stored within them. This helps ensure the integrity and authenticity of the vaccination data, reducing the risk of fraud or misuse.
5. Contactless verification
Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of QR Codes for vaccination vials and certificates allows for contactless verification, minimizing the risk of virus transmission through physical documents or close contact during the verification process.
6. Integration with digital platforms
QR Codes can be integrated with digital platforms, allowing for seamless integration with electronic health records, vaccination databases, and other healthcare systems. This facilitates the sharing and tracking of vaccination data across different healthcare providers and institutions.
F. How to create QR Codes
Now that you know everything about QR Codes for vaccine certificates, the next question is—how to create them?
Well, this can be done in many ways. You may want to create QR Codes one by one (which may get tedious and repetitive).
Or you may also want to create them in bulk or in real-time. Here’s how you can proceed in either of the three cases:
1. Create QR Codes individually
You need a QR Code generator to create QR Codes individually. In fact, there are more than 30 types of QR Codes that you can choose from. For example, a Website URL QR Code, a Text QR Code, etc.
Then just go to a QR Code generator such as Scanova. Next, you will have to select a relevant QR Code category.
Then simply enter the content to be enoded and create your QR Code. You will also be able to add design to your QR Code (if needed). In addition, you will also be able to specify the size and format of the QR Code image to be downloaded.
For more information on how to create a QR Code, here’s a detailed guide.
However, if you need to create QR Codes in large numbers, this option won’t be suitable for you. That’s because it will take a lot of your time and effort. You will rather need a bulk generation service.
2. Create QR Codes in bulk
Services such as QR Batch help you create QR Codes in bulk. Here’s how it works:
a. You create a spreadsheet having all the data to be added in the QR Codes (such as web links or textual data)
b. Then you go to QR Batch and select the relevant QR Code category
c. Upload the spreadsheet and match the columns in the spreadsheet with those on the dashboard
d. Add a design to the QR Codes (optional)
e. Download your QR Codes as labels or images
It makes the whole process fast to save you a lot of time, effort, and even money.
3. Integrate QR Code generation into your information system
This is particularly helpful if you already have an information system in place. You will no longer have to go to your QR Code generator whenever you need to create QR Codes.
A QR Code API will help you automate the generation of QR Codes in real-time. You simply have to go to QR API, integrate it with your information system, and get started.
Here’s a detailed guide on how to do it.
G. Best practices: Vaccination QR Code
Implementing best practices for vaccination QR Codes is crucial to ensure data security, privacy, and effective usage. Here are some key best practices:
1. Data security and encryption
Ensure that the data within the QR Code is encrypted and secured to prevent unauthorized access or tampering.
2. Minimal data inclusion
Include only necessary information in the QR Code to minimize the risk of exposing sensitive personal data. Include essential details such as vaccination status, date of vaccination, and vaccine type while avoiding unnecessary personal information.
3. Standardized format
Adhere to standardized QR Code formats to ensure compatibility with various scanning devices and applications, facilitating seamless data interpretation and verification.
4. User education
Provide clear instructions for individuals on how to use and manage their vaccination QR Codes to promote understanding and encourage responsible use.
5. Compliance with data protection laws
Ensure that the implementation of vaccination QR Codes complies with relevant data protection and privacy regulations to safeguard individuals’ confidential health information.
6. Regular system updates and maintenance
Maintain and update the QR Code system regularly to address any potential security vulnerabilities and ensure the continued integrity of the vaccination data.
7. Accessible verification methods
Provide multiple options for verifying vaccination status, including both digital and non-digital methods, to accommodate individuals who may not have access to smartphones or QR Code scanning technology.
8. Transparency and consent
Clearly communicate the purpose and usage of vaccination QR Codes to individuals, and obtain their informed consent before generating or accessing their QR Code information.
9. Secure storage of data
Implement secure data storage practices to safeguard the vaccination information stored within the QR Codes, preventing unauthorized access or data breaches.
H. FAQs: Vaccination QR Code
1. What is a vaccination QR Code?
A vaccination QR Code is a digital representation of an individual’s COVID-19 vaccination status, typically containing details such as the vaccine type, dates of vaccination, and the person’s name.
2. How can I obtain a vaccination QR Code?
The process for obtaining a vaccination QR Code may vary by location. In many cases, it’s generated by healthcare authorities or providers after you receive your COVID-19 vaccine. You might receive it through an official app or website.
3. What is the purpose of a vaccination QR Code?
The primary purpose of a vaccination QR Code is to provide a quick and secure way to verify an individual’s COVID-19 vaccination status for purposes such as travel, entry to events or venues, and public health tracking.
4. Is my personal information safe in a vaccination QR Code?
Vaccination QR Codes typically contain limited personal information to protect your privacy. However, it’s essential to ensure that data security measures are in place to protect the information stored in the QR Code.
5. Can I use my vaccination QR Code for international travel?
Many countries and airlines accept vaccination QR Codes for international travel. However, specific requirements may vary, so it’s crucial to check with your destination and relevant authorities for their policies.
6. What if I don’t have a smartphone to scan the QR Code?
Some places may provide alternative methods for verifying your vaccination status if you don’t have a smartphone. This could include paper certificates or other forms of documentation.
7. Can my vaccination QR Code be faked or tampered with?
QR Codes can be secured to minimize tampering, but there’s always a risk of fraud. It’s essential to rely on official sources and systems to verify vaccination status and be cautious of counterfeit documents.
8. What do I do if I lose my vaccination QR Code?
If you lose your QR Code, contact the healthcare provider or authority that issued it to inquire about getting a replacement or a duplicate copy.
9. Are vaccination QR Codes used only for COVID-19 vaccines?
While COVID-19 vaccination QR Codes have gained significant attention, similar QR Code systems have been used for other vaccines and health-related purposes in some regions.
10. Is my vaccination QR Code valid indefinitely?
The validity of a vaccination QR Code can vary. Some may have expiration dates, while others remain valid as long as your vaccination status remains accurate and up to date.
That’s it. You now know everything about QR Codes on vaccine certificates. They act as a powerful tool to keep the authenticity of vaccine certificates intact in the most seamless way.