Health

New Zealand taps MATTR for local and international vaccination passes

New Zealand’s Ministry of Health has chosen Auckland-based IT services provider MATTR to create vaccination passes for both domestic and international use. 

In a statement, it said MATTR, which won a closed competitive tender process, will be the main technology provider for both passes.

WHAT IT’S ABOUT

The agency last week released the specification for the domestic COVID-19 vaccine pass and verifier to its Github account. 

My Vaccine Pass will serve as an official record of a person’s vaccination status for accessing places within the country while a separate pass for international travel will be introduced soon. 

Coming later this month, both passes will be stored in a QR code that can be printed or downloaded to smartphones. For now, vaccination certificates can be obtained via the Ministry of Health’s MyCovidRecord platform. 

Meanwhile, in September, the Ministry of Health announced that it will build a free vaccination verification app that will be used to scan and authenticate a person’s My Vaccine Pass. 

According to Michael Dreyer, Ministry of Health’s group manager for National Digital Services, the Verifier app can be used by businesses for in-person verification. 

However, should they want to introduce “more sophisticated capabilities, such as integration into existing digital journeys or pre-verification processes,” they can do so while adhering to the technical specification laid out by the ministry.

THE LARGER CONTEXT

The Ministry of Health has been trying out technologies to support its COVID-19 response. One of these is near field communication tags that were recently introduced as part of its track and trace efforts. Used with the government’s NZ COVID Tracer app, the NFC tags are placed near existing QR code posters where it will detect a person’s NFC-supported smartphone and automatically record their presence in their contact tracing app.

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