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Call for participation on vaccine passport international standardization


Ecma TC51 committee is calling for participation and for feedback from interested stakeholders on the development of a vaccine passport international standardization.

Geneva, 12 March 2021

The interoperability of the global healthcare system will be significantly improved if the systems are compliant with ECMA-417, which is also published as international standard ISO/IEC 24643. Such standards are essential to the interoperability of 24/7/365 online systems.

COVID-19 has become a pandemic. As its spread, some immunology experts believe that the vaccination against COVID-19 will be a frequent event. The governments, companies and citizens need to prepare to keep accurate data of which vaccines have been taken at which dates in order to control the spread of new variants even if the original COVID-19 were eliminated. This is not an easy task without international coordination or international standards to ensure the interoperability of the systems.

On 14 February 2021, the UK Royal Society published a report titled 12 challenges for vaccine passports. This document has attracted a lot of attention. Among others, the six technological challenges are identified in this report including the interoperability among systems. On the other hand, various private sector companies and public sector entities have started vaccine passport initiatives without the interoperability consideration.  This is the background that Ecma International is calling for participation from various organisations representing all the stakeholders interested in vaccine passports.

Ecma TC51 was responsible for the development of the ECMA-417 standard. Ecma TC51 is reaching out to your organization to understand the requirements of the different constituents of vaccine passports.

Interested Ecma members and stakeholders are kindly invited to express their interest is this topic and submit their ideas and contributions. Ecma TC51 is hoping to make a rapid response to the 12 challenges for vaccine passports report and other various questions especially in terms of interoperability. We, therefore, would like interested parties to either send comments, questions, suggestions by Sunday 28 March 2021, 23:00 GMT, 24:00 CET (these can be send to Patrick Luthi, Secretary of Ecma TC51 ( or participate in our next (teleconference) meeting which is scheduled for 1st April 2021 at 7am GMT/8am CET.

More details can be found in the call for participation document.