Connecticut Launches Digital COVID Vaccine System

Smart health card

Connecticut’s SMART Health Card system went live on Monday despite criticism from Republicans across the state who warn they don’t have enough information about the contract.

Digital vaccination cards mirror the paper cards from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that patients receive once vaccinated and give them a convenient option to show proof of their vaccination on their smartphones without having to physically carry the cards. paper on them. .

The governor stressed that the choice to load digital vaccination cards on smartphones is strictly optional.

“I think this card will make a big difference,” Governor Ned Lamont said in his COVID-19 briefing on Monday.

“If you don’t want to take your paper card with you in your pocket, or if you’ve lost your card, you can load it digitally onto your smartphone. If you do not have a smartphone or do not wish to scan your paper card, you do not have to do so and you can continue to use the paper card given to you during your vaccination. This option is just about more convenient for Connecticut residents, ”Lamont said.

Republican lawmakers have criticized the system, which Gov. Ned Lamont has said is voluntary and practical.

“Why would the Connecticut government encourage a paradigm where only vaccinated people are allowed access to the grocery store, library, or office building?” Said Rep. Kimberly Fiorello, R-Greenwich. “Such policies will do great damage to the fabric of our community and instill hatred and fear among neighbors. “

Republicans are concerned that restaurants and other retail businesses like grocery stores or pharmacies will use them to ward off unvaccinated residents.

“Lamont’s administration has suggested that those who oppose his constant assault on individual choice when it comes to medical decisions are ‘alarmists’,” said Senator Rob Sampson. “Lamont openly calls on private businesses to begin dividing the free citizens of Connecticut into classes for the purposes of segregation and discrimination. I would say it deserves to be highlighted.

Lamont says that is not true. It is a voluntary and optional system.

Josh Geballe, chief operating officer of Lamont, said they need to take a look at the apps they download to their phones if they’re really concerned about privacy. He said the information, which is owned by the state, is not sold to third parties.

Outside of retailers and restaurants, manufacturers and offices wishing to reopen have been eagerly awaiting a way to check the immunization status of their employees.

Chris DiPentima, president and CEO of the Connecticut Business and Industry Association, said the companies he spoke with appreciate being able to verify that their employees are vaccinated.

He said there were a lot of fraud issues with paper cards, which are also less convenient. However, he said there were issues with the digital system as well because many times a person may have received a vaccine in another state and it does not show up in the Connecticut system.

Connecticut’s system is compatible with New York and six other states.

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