Thousands to be offered government-backed ‘vaccine passports’ in new trial

Thousands of people who have received their Covid jab will take part in a trial of vaccine passports in the coming months, it has been reported.

The passport will take the form of a free app developed by biometrics company iProov and cybersecurity firm Mvine, The Telegraph reports. It will allow users to digitally prove they’ve received the first or second dose of the vaccine.

Innovate UK, the government’s science and research funding agency, is said to have spent £75,000 on the project, despite the Department for Health previously denying there were plans to create the passports.

Michael Gove also denied that the passports were part of the government’s plans, but vaccine deployment minister Nadhim Zahawi later suggested that they were ‘looking into’ the technology.

Frank Joshi, director of Mvine, said the company had started working on passports for Covid test results, but later received more funding to focus on those who’d had the vaccine instead.

It is thought a trial of the app will take place until March, although the locations it will take place have not yet been decided. It will be overseen by two directors of public health in local authorities, it was reported.

If the trial is a success, the app will likely be rolled out to millions of people across the country.

iProov boss Andrew Bud told The Telegraph: ‘We’re talking about a piece of remarkable technology that can be brought to bear and can be readily integrated with the NHS.’

A spokesman for the Department for Health said: ‘As large numbers of people from at risk groups are vaccinated, we will be able to gather the evidence to prove the impact on infection rates, hospitalisation and reduced deaths. If successful, this should in time lead to a reassessment of current restrictions.’

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