Since the global coronavirus pandemic began in Wuhan, it has affected people all over the world. Freedom of movement has completely collapsed. Coronavirus has turned citizen lives upside down in each country in a matter of months, destroying the economy at the same time.
Scientists and politicians have various ideas about how to recover after the lockdown and return to normal life. The concept of immunity passports or ideas of other similar certificates are widely discussed and most likely will be a part of the solution to control the spread of this disease.
The general problem with the immunity passport idea is that no individual can be granted immunity for the future. The basis of a passport is highly dependent on test administrators, test type and their reliability. A huge number of tests taken at the present, as well as massive antibody testing, is planned in the near future. Scientists are putting forth all efforts to develop an effective and safe vaccine, so the validity period of such a passport becomes very important.
The World Health Organization has warned against issuing immunity passports as they pose considerable scientific, practical, equitable, and legal challenges which must first be resolved.
Lithuanian company Lakameda, a full-service solution provider for the pharma industry, has developed the infrastructure for international use. A unique system is fully adapted for the implementation of C19passport. Instead of just an idea, Lakameda has now launched the full C19passport system in Europe. Lithuania and Sweden are first during this summer and other countries will follow soon after.
What is C19passport?
C19passport covers all essential things for a dynamic system that works internationally. Only authorized institutions can upload test results – this makes it trustworthy for everyone. Each individual is in possession of their own result, which cannot be falsified or hacked. The individual chooses when and to whom to show their test result.
The security system of C19passport provides the individual and society with the reliability to allow the result to be used as the evidence and basis for specific group recommendations. Individuals with a registered test result could be exempt from physical restrictions and return to work, school, and daily life.
The system has a unique infrastructure. Institutions or companies get authorization by Lakameda based upon public registers and control. On behalf of the patient, they upload the test result and activate the card.
According to Laura Beržinienė, director of Lakameda, data is irrevocably encrypted and only accessible in a readable format by the individual – to check or prove their own status.
“From the very beginning, our focus has been on security. A system that provides benefits will be a target for falsification and cyberattacks. We have taken all steps to secure and maintain trust in the system for the individuals who pay for the registration. The information in the database contains an only encrypted personal ID and the test results are impossible to read or show without the C19safecard. By utilizing already known techniques, we can already start rolling out C19passports in Europe this summer. Nations can easily present and change to more specific national recommendations based upon test results and present scientific knowledge”, said Laura Beržinienė.
The registration includes information needed for the government to consider a recommendation for the individual that took the test. All recommendations are related to the nation that performed the testing.
What is C19safecard?
The physical product is a card. That card is just a key with verification features and codes to enter the database. Data registration is the basis of everything in the system. Data storage is secured at the highest level and will be stored 10 years after issue.
To activate the data, the authorized institution must add their institution label containing codes and safety features on the card and, together with card code, register results in the C19passport system. Information on the card can be scanned and read. Then the institution registers the personal ID of the individual who took the test or vaccine. These 3 components – personal ID, card code and institution code activate the C19safecard and its data.
When a person enters his ID and card code to the webpage, he gets general information. More detailed information can be extracted by the individual by entering an additional code. In general, a person logs in and gets information about tests he has taken, their type, sensitivity, and accuracy. Also, in accordance with the test results, national recommendations for social behaviour will be provided if nations chose to utilize this option.
Data is not accessible to the public. It can only be accessed online by the individual or other authorities with the cardholder’s permission. Tests and their result are fixed, but national recommendations may differ over time. As new scientific information about the virus, tests, antibodies and immunity appears, nations can change their recommendations.
When logged in to the C19passport system, it will be possible to check the latest recommendations from other countries about the test, test results or vaccination.
Benefits of the system
For governments, the implementation of a certificate that proves the level of risk that citizens will contract coronavirus provides an opportunity to utilize completed test results and saves costs by avoiding additional testing and centralizing the registration and outcome of tests and vaccines. While discussions of other systems are still ongoing, this is an opportunity to get started and become a role model. It’s dynamic and can be used in line with scientific knowledge. Governments may open up borders for travelling faster and keep companies and institutions running, as well as manage quality and safety controls for society.
Many coronavirus and antibody tests are bought for mass human testing. For the government, it is important to have all test results centralized in one place and, based on these results, authorities can provide recommendations and precautions for citizens. There is space in the structure of COVID passports where governments can give advice based on the tests. This is a popular topic now, because some countries are starting to allow travellers to come into their territory if they can prove that they are not sick and hopefully, in near future, if they are considered immune.
Test results are recorded. The information about test results is updated each time by the government for the individual to check on the system.
The system is self-financed by the individuals, but it must be authorized by the government on a scientific basis. Also, authorities must provide the practical outcome of massive testing in order to maximize their ability to reestablish social life and the economy as soon as possible.
Healthcare institutions and companies, especially smaller ones, get the benefit of income possibility and being authorized as proof of quality.
Since many tests are performed for coronavirus and its antibodies, both results, negative and positive, can add value. Depending on what type of test is taken, all stakeholders can benefit if the results are registered. The C19passport system can register all tests in a manner that can give everybody the most benefits in the future.
It goes without saying that for citizens, it is vital to have the tools to prove their status and feel safe being at work with family or travelling based upon national recommendations.
“C19passport is also valid without national recommendations. It is optional, but if recommendations are given, C19passport gives citizens a greater benefit. Possibly, if a person takes a test in one country that does not have recommendations – other nations may have them. Potentially, other nations might approve that test as an entrance to their country. The more countries are involved and are giving recommendations and mutual recognition, the more benefit citizens can have”, said Laura Beržinienė.