With a vaccine for Covid-19 seeming like a real possibility next year, but taking time to roll out broadly across the population, companies whose activities bring large groups together are working to figure out how to do that faster. One way is through technology to ensure that everyone congregating indoors is likely to be free of the virus.
Ticketmaster Plans To Require Digital Proof Of Vaccination Or Negative Test To Attend Events
Ticketmaster has a plan to bring back large-scale events that involves real verification that all attendees have either been vaccinated against Covid-19 or have had a recent negative test.
They’ll use a third part health pass company “like CLEAR or IBM” to deliver the results to the Ticketmaster app. For privacy reasons, Ticketmaster would only get an ‘ok to attend’ or ‘not ok’ message and wouldn’t see any medical records. The ticketing monopoly expects the technology to become available soon,
To date, the Food and Drug Administration has not approved any third-party companies to provide the complex technology needed to deliver real-time vaccination results, but Ticketmaster president Mark Yovich expects the demand for digital screening services — which will be needed for airline travel, employment verification and theme park entry — will attract a new wave of investors and entrepreneurs to fuel the growth of a new COVID-19 technology sector.
“We’re already seeing many third-party health care providers prepare to handle the vetting — whether that is getting a vaccine, taking a test, or other methods of review and approval – which could then be linked via a digital ticket so everyone entering the event is verified,” Yovich tells Billboard.
Knowing Everyone Else Is Safe Could Bring Back Customers
At the end of the day assuring customers everyone else they’re traveling with is likely safe would go a long way towards bringing back travel, though people would still need the point of the trip to be worthwhile meaning that offices would have to be open, activities in a destination would have to be operating. However once we have widespread adoption of a vaccine, if it’s indeed highly effective, we could bring back conferences and large scale events.
Airlines Might Not Make The IT Investment – And Might Not Need To
Even though ensuring everyone on a flight is Covid-free might bring back customers – and United is experimenting with mandatory testing prior to some Newark – London Heathrow flights – it’s possible airlines would be reluctant to make the IT investments necessary to get real-time verifiable testing results or proof of vaccination imported into their apps – preferring instead to continue insisting that passengers self-certify their health status.
On the other hand American Airlines President Robert Isom shared at the Baird Global conference this morning that a “medical report wallet through Verifly” is coming to help open up travel to the Caribbean.
This will be for passengers flying Miami to Montego Bay or Kingston, Jamaica starting November 18. At this point it’s a voluntary way to have eligibility for travel preverified, and customers in Miami using it “will be provided an expedited entry lane for testing verification in the North Terminal” where they show their ‘pass’ validation on the app. There’s no integration into American’s IT systems with this solution.
Ultimately though if a vaccine is as effective as Pfizer has suggested theirs is (could it even be 97% effective so far in the trial?), if Moderna’s vaccine using similar mRNA technology is in the same range of effectiveness, we may start to get enough supply of a vaccine that really works next year that all these issues about proving health could become moot in a matter of months. Vaccinating half the population with that level of effectiveness would severely limit the ability of the virus to spread.
Since the summer I’ve written that large scale, cheap and easily accessible testing, linked to an app to prove results, would be a way to bring back everything from amusement parks to events to in-restaurant dining. Just take your daily test and scan a code wherever you go.
However widespread availability of effective vaccines, coupled with scaling up of highly effective treatments, could make this largely moot in the west.
Much Of The World Will Still Need To Verify Customers Are Covid-Free
Unfortunately much of the world may take longer to get access to these potentially life-saving innovations. mRNA vaccines, especially, that have to be stored at temperatures well below freezing and monoclonal antibodies that are difficult and costly to produce may be out of reach for some time in Africa, parts of South and Central Asia, and elsewhere for a long time. Expect to show proof of negative test or vaccination to enter long after such requirements dissipate in the West.