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New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo, has announced the launch of the city’s blockchain-powered ‘Excelsior Pass’ COVID-19 vaccination passport. The Excelsior Pass is set to go live across the state from 2 April 2021.

The Excelsior Pass is a free, voluntary platform built on IBM’s blockchain-based Digital Health Pass. Excelsior Pass is designed to enable the safe and secure verification of health credentials including COVID-19 test results and vaccination records, without revealing any underlying medical or personal information.

The passport will be “similar to a mobile boarding pass”. Individuals will be able to print out their pass, or store it on their mobile phones using the Excelsior Pass Wallet app. Each pass will have a unique, secure QR code that may be scanned to verify negative test results or proof of vaccination.

“As part of this initial launch, participating New Yorkers may choose to use Excelsior Pass to verify their COVID-19 vaccination or negative test results as needed to gain entry to major stadiums and arenas, wedding receptions, or catered and other events above the social gathering limit.” Said the governor’s office.

New York will be the first state in the USA to introduce a COVID-19 passport. IBM’s General Manager, Steve LaFleche, believes that “the state is modeling for the rest of the country how new, technology-enabled approaches can help safely reinvigorate economies while also striving to protect public health.”

Feature image by Jernej Furman from flickr