Covid certificates: no more wasting time

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The pandemic? Almost impossible to predict. The date of availability of the first vaccines in Switzerland? Difficult to predict. But in all this crisis, one thing was certain, very early on: already by mid-2020, we could guess the importance that the vaccination certificates would quickly gain. Now here we are, nine months later, hoping that such a certificate will be available in Switzerland within a few weeks. It is much too late.

Read also: Twelve questions on the future Swiss certificate linked to the virus

Switzerland is not alone in this case: the European Union has no common solution yet, the United States is juggling several local solutions. On the other hand, Denmark, Israel and even France – which we like so much to look down on from a technological point of view – are testing solutions on a large scale, and even deploying them for everyone.

The vaccination certificate – in the broad sense, since it must also mention serological tests, PCR tests and medical history – is essential. Cinemas, festivals, trips… This solution appears to be the only one capable of allowing us, in the medium term, to regain a semblance of normality. We must therefore no longer waste time and launch a functional device as soon as possible. Dozens of Swiss companies presented their solutions to the Federal Office of Health (OFSP). It is up to him to decide quickly.

Let us also be prepared to accept something that is very difficult to hear in Switzerland: this service will not necessarily be perfect straight away. But let’s put aside, for once, the “Swiss finish” or this propensity to wait – too long – before launching a service that we consider impeccable. It is not a question here of doing just anything in a hurry. But to take a measured risk, making it possible to very quickly propose a correct solution from a technological, health and of course ethical point of view.

The only problem: the Confederation has a poor history in terms of technological projects. Especially during this crisis. From faxes sent to the FOPH to the laborious integration of SwissCovid into the health system, including the precise count of the number of vaccinations, the list is long.

With this covid certificate, Switzerland has a great opportunity to catch up. Let’s face it. Technical bugs, falsifications, even hacking attempts, there will undoubtedly be some. This is one of the risks inherent in this type of system. You have to prepare for these problems. And then overcome them immediately.

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