New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the launch of the city's blockchain-powered “Excelsior Pass” vaccination passport on March 26.
The passport is issued through a free and voluntary platform that verifies Covid-19 vaccinations or negative test results via a QR code for smartphone scanning or printing. The Excelsior Pass is intended to assist the process of reopening businesses and public venues across New York.
The vaccination passport is built on IBM’s blockchain-powered Digital Health Pass, which enables a user's identity, vaccination history, and test results to be verified and securely shared without revealing unrelated personal information.
In the announcement, Governor Cuomo emphasized the importance of utilizing technology to reopen in a way that caters to both public health and the economy:
"As more New Yorkers get vaccinated each day and as key public health metrics continue to regularly reach their lowest rates in months, the first-in-the-nation Excelsior Pass heralds the next step in our thoughtful, science-based reopening."
Steve LaFleche, General Manager of IBM Public and Federal Markets, pride in assisting New York’s plan for reopening, stating: "IBM is proud to support the State of New York with its efforts to apply innovative technologies to help residents and communities respond to COVID-19.”
Cuomo first revealed plans for a blockchain-powered vaccination passport on March 2, following a successful trial of the system at a Brooklyn Nets NBA game the previous week.