Tech giants want to help you prove you’ve been vaccinated for COVID-19

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Microsoft, Salesforce, Oracle, and electronic health record companies Epic and Cerner are all getting behind a single standard for vaccine certification. Before people can return to work, school, or travel, they may soon have to prove that they’ve been vaccinated for COVID-19. In order to both coordinate and track vaccination, a coalition of tech companies have come together to design an open-source standard for vaccination records that makes them portable between healthcare providers and certifies a person’s COVID-19 vaccination history. Read Full Story

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Scheduling COVID-19 vaccinations is a mess. Zocdoc has a solution

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The healthcare marketplace has come up with a scheduling platform designed to help people get vaccinated as quickly as possible. COVID-19 vaccines are here, but even if you qualify to get one, getting it is a harried experience. Phone lines for health departments and care providers offering the vaccine are overwhelmed. Signing up for a vaccination online has been no easier. New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, who is also running for mayor, complained that both websites available for booking vaccination appointments were “buggy” and one required too much information. Meanwhile, residents in several counties in Florida have to reserve their COVID-19 vaccinations on event-ticketing site Eventbrite (the same place they can get tickets to see local band Clematis). Read Full Story

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These drones will deliver the COVID-19 vaccine so it stays cold

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How do you get the vaccine to remote clinics while it’s still frozen? Fly it there. For a remote health clinic—whether in Africa or in a rural part of the U.S.—one of the challenges presented by the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines is their temperature requirements: The Pfizer vaccine has to be stored at minus 70 degrees Celsius. The ultra-cold freezers needed to store them cost $10,000 or more, and storing the vaccines in dry ice is logistically complicated. Moderna’s vaccine doesn’t have to be quite as cold but still needs to be frozen until it’s ready for use. Getting the vaccines to remote locations quickly, therefore, is key. To do that, some vaccines will soon begin to be delivered to locations by drone. Read Full Story

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These disease investigation specialists usually track down STDs. Now they’re doing COVID-19 contact tracing

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The National Coalition of STD Directors is lending its disease intervention specialists to help find, test, and isolate people who have been exposed to the coronavirus. While it’s never been especially visible, the importance of “contact tracing” to curb the spread of disease is not new to the COVID-19 pandemic. As tech companies develop contact tracing apps that draw skepticism and raise privacy concerns, one organization is deploying its employees to carry out this important public health work with a shoe-leather approach, just as they’ve been doing for decades to stem the spread of a different kind of health concern: STDs. Read Full Story

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