Vaccine passports

edited April 6 in General

Just read this news

Covid: US rules out vaccine passports

I’m wondering whether others think like me that there could be a possibility that countries who insist on Covid passports may not accept the flimsy and easily forged little vaccine cards that we Americans have been given. I hear there are already forged cards available for $150 on line.
I personally am not concerned about privacy etc. everyone these days has no privacy from information about them. I think it would be a great advantage to have all your shots availability to find on line for our own benefit never mind anyone else. Those who cannot genuine have the vaccine could also have official records of that too.
Let’s see what happens.
Many years ago the design of the ‘Green card’ was changed. That was the type of card my husband was given. He went on a trip, I think it was France. When he checked in to fly back to the US, he presented the card, the agent said, that is not a green card, my husband said, yes it is, the agent snatched the card off him and disappeared for quite some time. When he returned, he sheepishly handed it back, said nothing and let my husband through. The world is going to need standard Covid passports and up to date border agents.
I’m als Otho king it’s going to be a lot more common for agents to ask for proof of Yellow fever vaccination for those county who require it, I’m glad I got mine.



  • The government not mandating them won't keep you from voluntarily participating in a program unless it requires verification of info from one third party to another and you don't have the right to authorize release of your info. Kind of like Global Entry, you don't have to have it to go thru customs but makes life easier.

  • Interesting info, thanks Claudia!

  • A link to info on IBMs digital health pass. I don't care if the feds don't mandate a U.S. wide pass as long as they're willing to work with the international community to agree on credentials. An interesting question for tomorrow's webinar.

  • I don’t think your yellow card with your yellow fever vaccination info is any more bullet proof than the covid vaccine card. I had the technician record our covid shots in the yellow card as well, but it would not be difficult to forge any of those items. Our UCSF records including vaccinations are recorded on a database called ‘MyChart’, which I can pull up with a password that shows all of those records. I think that is the kind of database that could be used to show valid vaccination records. Perhaps they then could generate a QR code that could be printed on a page of your real passport ... or perhaps your forehead. (;-)

  • Our Yellow card is already full as we included all vaccines on it, such as tetanus,and the two hepatitis ones. No room to record Covid vaccine.
    I think our My chart vaccine records or equivalent records are ones we have entered ourselves

  • My original International shot card is full and I'm working on my second one.

    I think it would be easy to have all, if not just the most important shots (Yellow Fever, Polio, COVID), recorded on the chip embedded in our e-Passports. Many countries are issuing e-Passport too these days. You can tell if you have an e-Passport- it will have the circled symbol on the front:

    From the Homeland Security website:

    "An e-Passport contains an electronic chip. The chip holds the same information that is printed on the passport's data page: the holder's name, date of birth, and other biographic information. An e-Passport also contains a biometric identifier. The United States requires that the chip contain a digital photograph of the holder. All e-Passports issued by Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries and the United States have security features to prevent the unauthorized reading or "skimming" of data stored on the e-Passport chip."

  • I just saw this on the BBC
    New York has become the first US state to introduce a Covid passport, known as the Excelsior Pass.

    Talking to BBC Radio 5 Live Breakfast, Yuelin Lee, from the tech company Onfido, which specialises in identity verification, explained how the digital pass works.

    "You go onto the New York government website, you enter some personal information, such as your date of birth, when you’ve had the vaccine, and so on," she said.

    "That generates a personalised QR code to store on your phone… and that QR code is linked on the back to health records and it is dynamic so it means that if you had an antigen test [also known as a rapid test] the code is valid for six hours, if you have a PCR test it is six days.

    "If you had Covid and have recovered it is about six months, and then for the vaccine itself, if you've had both doses... it's much longer."

  • I checked my passport - lo and behold, I have an embedded one. Never noticed the ‘symbol’ on the cover. Apparently all passports issued after 2007 contain the chip.

  • AlanS, NancyCohen - Apparently all passports issued after 2007 contain the chip.

    Which means every American with a valid passport, has an e-Passport since passports are good for only 10 years. I guess that explains why sometimes, they scan your passport like a credit card.

  • Sam — did you notice that icon in the cover - or know what it meant???

  • edited April 7

    NancyCohen - I did not pay any attention to the icon and didn't know what it meant. I learned an interesting new tidbit today. Apparently the saying, "Never too old to stop learning", is true. :D

  • Will I get royalties if they adopt my idea? :D

  • Having it in your passport or Global Entry card is a great idea, but passports are good for 10 years, so it will take a while to be implemented. Also, how long before the federal government gets around to it?

  • AlanS - Forget about your passport royalties. Put that creative mind of yours to use in coming up with ways to improve the Tauck App. Lord only knows there are probably a million ways to do that. Once you come up with your ideas, perhaps soliciting ideas from all your friends on the Tauck forum, we need you to run point with your pen-pal and good buddy Dan Mahar and get Tauck to implement the ideas in a rapid fashion.

  • The e-passport/electronic chip is why companies make a lot of money selling RFID blocking products to put your passport in. There's also plenty of conflicting advice about whether these products are needed.

  • Claudia - AlanS is an "Idea Man", not so much an implementation detail guy. But that is going to change when we put him to work on improving the Tauck App and then getting his best friend Dan Mahar to quickly implement the improvements. :D

  • When I renewed my passport, 3 or 4 years ago, I recall a small card or slip of paper with a warning to not bend the passport because it could damage the RFID chip.

    BTW, a piece of aluminum foil works just as well for blocking the scanners, if you need to block one for the short term. Also, for car fobs, an Altoids container works great.

  • From the Homeland Security website: The passport’s cover also acts as a shield; when the booklet is closed, the chip typically can’t be read.
    The moral: Keep it closed

  • I just read that the US government will not be cooperating with vaccine passport efforts.

  • Sealord, that is what my post was about. My questions is, will other countries accept our vaccine cards that can more easily be forged.

  • edited April 7

    The federal government not mandating vaccine passports is only a small part of the story. States can still do so and the US government can work with the international community to agree on common credentials. This issue was touched on in the Tauck webinar I just finished. Will get my notes from the meeting typed up and posted soon.

  • For most it's BS. What they really don't want is to be denied entry to something because they haven't gotten the vaccine.

  • edited April 7

    Claudia Sails
    The e-passport/electronic chip is why companies make a lot of money selling RFID blocking products to put your passport in. There's also plenty of conflicting advice about whether these products are needed.

    I consider the companies that sell RFID shielded pouches and clothing to protect passports as nothing more than scammers. As Nancy said the cover is a shield.

    That being said, as I posted a few years ago, I saw a technical video or article about RFID data theft from passports. The only time it would ever be possible to read and steal the data is when the passport is open, and then only for a second or two when it is briefly interrogated- the thief needs to record both the encrypted CBP machine's interrogation signal and the similarly encrypted reply from the passport's chip. At that brief moment, the thief's receiver must be no more than 2 to 3 feet away from the passport.

    Also, to intercept and retain the data the thief would need to be carrying a special receiver connected to a small portable computer to record the raw encrypted data. The thief isn't done yet. He must take the recording home and use some serious computer processing to first separate out the interrogation signal from the reply signal, then using advanced computer algorithms, decrypt the data. As demonstrated in the article, all possible, but extremely unlikely. And, what does the thief get for all the time, effort, equipment expenses, and potential legal jeopardy if he is caught- absolutely nothing unless he is able to use the stolen information to successfully open a credit/debit card or bank account in the victim's name and use it to scam money. That is a LOT of work for potentially little return unless his victim is Bill Gates, Elon Musk, or other wealthy person! It is a lot easier just to steal the passport!

    There are problems with my idea- can the chip in our passports be easily reformatted and written to, so it will hold and report vaccine data? What equipment is needed and would it be easily accessible? Can the existing CBP readers be easily re-programmed to read the new format and data? Will foreign chip-enabled passports be able to be read? A (international) standard would need to be developed unless the CBP interrogation equipment can interrogate and display multiple country formats.

    Just a thought. Rather than "why we can't or won't do it", Homeland Security and the Department of Health and Human Services, should be asking "how" and saying, "let's do it"!

  • AlanS
    I consider the companies that sell RFID shielded pouches and clothing to protect passports as nothing more than scammers. As Nancy said the cover is a shield.

    I disagree. They are no more scammers than those who sell home alarm systems. If someone feels better with a little extra security, so be it. And the front cover is only a shield if that side of the passport is facing out. If the back cover, which contains the chip, is in a purse or pocket with the back cover facing out, it's not protected.

  • For reasons beyond my ‘ken’, I have a credit card go south about once a year. The last one was being used in Toronto to haul freight ... it went ‘north’. They said, “Which charge are you disputing?”. I said, all of them. I haven’t used that card in more than a month. I had one card that was being used to buy carpets in India. I check my cards online frequently, so I normally catch this stuff pretty quickly.

  • edited April 8

    . . . . They are no more scammers than those who sell home alarm systems.

    Only if you have an expectation that the home alarm won't work and you have an impenetrable "bunker" home.

    RFID wallets and clothing for passports are not needed for all the reasons I stated. As one website simply stated, "The problem isn't that these products don't work, it's that they're a solution to a problem that doesn't exist in the real world. There's probably hundreds of millions of financial crimes being done every year and so far, zero, real life RFID crime. For American citizens, there is no personal information stored on the RFID tag, simply a reference code to a file the government keeps on you and agents can access at passport control. Most other countries store data directly on the chip itself."

    If the back cover, which contains the chip, is in a purse or pocket with the back cover facing out, it's not protected.

    Absolutely Not true- you are seeing a chip symbol not the chip. Embedded in both covers is a wire mesh ("Faraday" cage) that prevents the chip which is on the inside from being read when the cover is closed.

    I also found this bit of info which is applicable to my earlier discussion of chip capacity, "The capacity of the radio-frequency identification (RFID) chip is 64 kilobytes, which is large enough to store additional biometric identifiers in the future, such as fingerprints and iris scans." so it would be no problem storing inoculation and other 9?) data.

  • I would love to spend hours talking with Alan S, there is nothing more attractive to me than an intellectual guy, that’s why I married Mr. B. If I wanted to know the answer to anything, I didn’t need to go to the library or open a book, I just asked him. Of course now I have the internet too. There is one problem, if I found myself on a Tauck tour with Alan, I’d never got to see the sites because I’d be too busy listening to him. Thanks Alan for all your detailed knowledge!

  • ^^ I need a kiss-azz flag for that post. :)

  • Where is the Masked Flagger when you need her/him/they?

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