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posted by martyb on Tuesday August 24 2021, @11:03AM   Printer-friendly

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2021/08/covid-19-vaccine-cards-why-so-big/619707/

This spring, as New York City warmed up and the local vaccination rate surged, I met my best friend for our first restaurant meal together in months. As soon as we sat down, she began rifling through her purse. "I have something for you," she told me. From her bag came a rectangle of clear, thick, double-layered plastic—the kind of display pocket that often dangles at the end of a lanyard. My friend had swiped a handful from her office's supply closet. "It's for your vaccine card," she explained. But I already knew.

When I got my first shot, in late February, I sat in the mandatory waiting area, holding my new card in one hand and my wallet in the other, trying to understand why the two objects weren't compatible. I contemplated where I should put this brand-new golden ticket, ultimately sliding the thin piece of too-large card stock into an envelope I found in my tote. I'm going to either lose this or destroy it, I thought to myself.

Indeed, I lost it—at least for a little while. Despite dutifully sliding the card into its new protective pocket after lunch with my friend, I eventually found myself tearing my apartment apart searching for it, for exactly the reasons I had feared: It was the wrong size for the one place where most people keep all their important everyday documents, and of too nebulous a purpose to sit safely in a drawer with my birth certificate and passport. Could it unlock some sort of privileges at the airport? Were restaurants going to check it? Did I need to take it to medical appointments? My card had gotten shuffled into a sandwich baggie filled with extra masks, not to be rediscovered for six weeks.

With all due respect to our country's overworked and undersupported public-health apparatus: This is dumb. The card is dumb, and it's difficult to imagine a series of intentional decisions that could have reasonably led to it as the consensus best pick. Its strangeness had been a bit less important in the past seven months, when evidence of immunity was rarely necessary to do things within America. Now, as Delta-variant cases surge and more municipalities and private businesses begin to require proof of vaccination to patronize places such as restaurants and gyms, the rubber has met the road on this flimsy de facto verification apparatus. It's not the highest-stakes question of this stage of the pandemic, but it's one that's become quite common: How did we end up with these cards?

What size are the COVID-19 vaccine ID cards in other (non-USA) countries?


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  • (Score: 5, Touché) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday August 24 2021, @12:28PM (22 children)

    by JoeMerchant (3937) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday August 24 2021, @12:28PM (#1170291)

    Something something HIPAA, something BS BS BS, incorrect interpretation, outright fabrication, HIPAA!!! our privacy, our RIGHTS, DON'T TREAD ON ME!!!!!

    /s

    --
    Україна досі не є частиною Росії.
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  • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Tuesday August 24 2021, @01:50PM (10 children)

    by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday August 24 2021, @01:50PM (#1170312) Journal

    I think HIPPA is just an excuse.

    The real reason we don't have secure vaccination cards in the US is for the express porpoise of allowing people to make fake cards.

    --
    You can not have fun on the weak days but you can on the weakened.
    • (Score: 0, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24 2021, @01:58PM (9 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24 2021, @01:58PM (#1170314)

      There's also the problem of requiring everyone to have a vaccine card, but to also argue that it's unfair and impossible to require everyone to have a Voter ID card.

      We can't do anything that would make it more difficult for the Dems to cheat on elections.

      • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Tuesday August 24 2021, @02:15PM (7 children)

        by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday August 24 2021, @02:15PM (#1170321) Journal

        I have a voter card. It seems to serve no porpoise. When I go to the polling place, what they actually want is ID like a driver license or passport. All the voter card means is that I am already on the voting rolls. They check my ID and confirm that (1) I am on the rolls, and (2) I am at the right place (so I can't vote at multiple places), and (3) that I have not already voted at this location today.

        --
        You can not have fun on the weak days but you can on the weakened.
        • (Score: 0, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24 2021, @02:37PM (4 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24 2021, @02:37PM (#1170332)

          I've lived in 5 States since I've been old enough to vote. Four of those States never removed me from the registered voter rolls after I moved out of the State.

          In those States where they sent out ballots to every registered voter, someone got the ballot intended for me, and for all I know someone voted those ballots. And, although it's easy to find out that I was still a registered voter in those other States (at least it was before election integrity became a big issue), I have not found any way to see whether someone voted using my registrations in those States.

          The only reason to keep non-eligible voters on the voter rolls (in some of my examples, for decades) is to make it easier to insert fake ballots into the election without being caught.

          • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24 2021, @04:53PM (3 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24 2021, @04:53PM (#1170384)

            Yes that's the only reason - to commit a complex fraud involving unknown people that never gets found out. For decades, no less.

            • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24 2021, @08:00PM (2 children)

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24 2021, @08:00PM (#1170490)

              My family lived in Chicago for several generations. The Democrat Machine there has been cheating for at least 80 years. Back in the 1940s, while my grandfather was voting, a poll worker mentioned that his brother (my great-uncle) had just been in to vote. My grandfather pointed out to him that his brother had died years earlier. The poll worker just passed his paperwork to another poll worker and walked away.

              And, the reason he didn't make a stink about it was because he didn't want the street in front of his house torn up and left unpassable for months or years (which has happened to others who made trouble).

              People who never lived in Chicago think the stories about "graveyard voters" are just jokes. They aren't.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24 2021, @10:24PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24 2021, @10:24PM (#1170536)

                Yet all investigations turn up little from dems and frequent cheating by reps. Either we liberals truly are that much smarter or your anecdotes are stupid. Which is it? While you're thinking about stuff why not share your thoughts on Trump's criminal activities?

              • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 25 2021, @12:55AM

                by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 25 2021, @12:55AM (#1170597)

                My uncle swore blind that he saw a ghost vote. Extrapolate that by all uncles and you've got MASSIVE voter fraud.

        • (Score: 0, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24 2021, @02:44PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24 2021, @02:44PM (#1170335)

          Note that in Democrat-controlled areas, they are fighting tooth and nail against any proof of eligibility before someone casts a vote. I'f you're being required to show your Driver's License or Passport to vote, you probably live in a Republican area.

          None of the safeguards you mention work in a mail-in voting situation (which the Democrats have been pushing hard). Here's an example of such fraud:

          https://presscalifornia.com/2021/08/19/video-gavin-groupies-caught-swiping-recall-ballots-from-mailbox/ [presscalifornia.com]

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24 2021, @04:56PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24 2021, @04:56PM (#1170386)

            Moar voters is betterer. Or less, I forget which way it is.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 25 2021, @12:26AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 25 2021, @12:26AM (#1170588)

        They gave me my card when I got vaccinated. Do they hand out voter ID when you vote?

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by janrinok on Tuesday August 24 2021, @02:07PM (3 children)

    by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday August 24 2021, @02:07PM (#1170318) Journal

    HIPPA applies only to Medical or Official Staff disclosing the contents of Medical Records, if I understand it correctly. If you choose to show someone your QR code / paper certificate that is your choice, and not something that the medical staff are responsible for. You choose to enter a restaurant, event, workplace or whatever. In France there is similar legislation and I assume it is the same in most countries.

    And, in Europe at least, all the QR codes gives them is your name (to prove the code is yours), the number and dates of your vaccinations, and it checks that the QR code is itself valid. I can plaster my medical records or my QR code on a billboard. It would not be a breach of medical privacy.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday August 24 2021, @02:27PM (2 children)

      by JoeMerchant (3937) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday August 24 2021, @02:27PM (#1170327)

      I work in med devices, we protect health information while also making it accessible to legitimate users, we are exhaustively trained in HIPAA - and... out in the world, I hear HIPAA used as an excuse for things it has nothing to do with 10x more than I hear actual applications of the law. Like arguing with the TSA when your flight will be closing the boarding door in 60 minutes or less, there's no point in calling out these idiots and their BS, you're more likely to put yourself in a worse state than you already are. Or: like wrestling a pig in the mud, you both get dirty - but the pig enjoys it.

      --
      Україна досі не є частиною Росії.
      • (Score: 0, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24 2021, @02:48PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24 2021, @02:48PM (#1170337)

        The real problem is requiring people to surrender their HIPPA protected information to people who are not bound by HIPPA.

        If you want to release that information to the world, go right ahead. But it's wrong to allow companies to force you to release that information to them.

        • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24 2021, @06:20PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24 2021, @06:20PM (#1170453)

          The real problem is requiring people to surrender their HIPPA protected information to people who are not bound by HIPPA.

          If you want to release that information to the world, go right ahead. But it's wrong to allow companies to force you to release that information to them.

          You seem to be a little confused here. Companies may choose who they will or will not do business with at their discretion (protected classes excepted). You don't have to show them that you are vaccinated but they don't have to do business with you either. And if you know they require proof of vaccination status and you go there anyway, you're just an asshole.

  • (Score: 3, Touché) by DannyB on Tuesday August 24 2021, @02:20PM (5 children)

    by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday August 24 2021, @02:20PM (#1170325) Journal

    our RIGHTS, DON'T TREAD ON ME!!!!!

    Try this one on for size.

    From Fox News:
    Mississippi orders coronavirus-infected individuals to isolate at home or face up to 5 years in prison [foxnews.com]
    Mississippi's daily new cases are the highest they've been during the pandemic

    But what about people's right to go out unvaccinated and unmasked so they can spread covid-19 to everyone else? It is their right! They should be permitted to cough, spit and sneeze on others deliberately with impunity. Don't tread on them!

    Can't they just say they aren't infected? With their dying breath they can say it's just the flu flue flew.

    --
    You can not have fun on the weak days but you can on the weakened.
    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday August 24 2021, @02:29PM

      by JoeMerchant (3937) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday August 24 2021, @02:29PM (#1170329)

      It aren't no flue - this here is allergies.

      --
      Україна досі не є частиною Росії.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24 2021, @05:00PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24 2021, @05:00PM (#1170391)

      Freedom ain't free, buddy. Ya gotta pay the price for my rights.

      • (Score: 2) by captain normal on Tuesday August 24 2021, @07:33PM (1 child)

        by captain normal (2205) on Tuesday August 24 2021, @07:33PM (#1170478)

        Right...and it's my right to go about my life without being infected with a deadly disease by some idiot who believes everything they see on the internet or hear on late night AM radio.

        --
        “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Thomas Edison
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 25 2021, @01:01AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 25 2021, @01:01AM (#1170600)

          No, see that's the "not free" part you missed.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24 2021, @11:10PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24 2021, @11:10PM (#1170555)

      But what about the vaccined faggots spreading coof at their gay orgies? Ever thing about them? I bet you have...

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24 2021, @07:43PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24 2021, @07:43PM (#1170481)

    You know, don't comment with bullshit.

    1. EU certificates only store the data on the device in question -- THERE IS NO CENTRAL STORE
    2. public key crypto is used for verification and make it tamper proof. You know, since THERE IS NO CENTRAL STORE

    So, as long as you trust a given nation to have a process that signs only valid certificate data, to verify the certificate, all you need is the few public keys. And then you can compare the certificate data, like Name or DOB, with other piece of ID, without internet or central server or anything like that. And who inputs data to be signed?? you know, people like doctors and pharmacists, so if you can trust them to not be corrupt scum bags with drugs, you can probably trust them to keep the certificates about correct too.

    The certificates some states in US are trying are just bad bullshit. They may as well stick to WHO vaccination book and be done with it. You know,

    https://www.amazon.de/-/en/dp/B07K1H8D3X [amazon.de]