Best Practices | September 14, 2021

What Companies Are Getting Wrong About Vaccine Proof

by Proxy

Requiring proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test results is a new and quickly changing part of our lives. With more and more cities, counties, and states mandating that businesses require proof of vaccination or negative test results before customers or employees can enter, it’s important to understand how to best collect that information without compromising privacy or introducing vulnerabilities.

Below are 10 common mistakes to avoid as you consider how to verify vaccination records and negative test results:

  1. Using color-coded stickers. Placing a sticker on an individual is possibly the most basic way to communicate that a person has been vaccinated or cleared a health screen. It’s incredibly easy to fake and unreliable, as anyone could give their sticker to someone else, or the stickers themselves could be easily replicated. Moreover, it doesn’t allow for any traceability in the case that there’s an incident and people need to be notified. 
  2. Conducting daily temperature checks. While this may seem like a helpful way to verify whether someone has COVID-19, it’s ultimately not very reliable because people can be asymptomatic, thermometers may give faulty readings, and fevers are not the only symptoms to watch for when screening for COVID-19.
  3. Asking for physical cards as proof. Many, if not all, people who have been vaccinated received a COVID-19 vaccination record card verifying which shot they had and when. While this was a good first step in keeping track of who was vaccinated, it can be easily lost and contains personal health data. Overall, it’s better for most people to keep those cards at home, much like they would their social security cards.
  4. Using spreadsheets. Spreadsheets might make sense for contact tracing or tracking exposure, but they are ultimately not secure and run the risk of being duplicated, hacked, or tampered with. Moreover, managing data in spreadsheets, while ensuring they’re up-to-date and accurate, can be time-consuming and unsustainable in the long run, as are any manually created reports and dashboards.
  5. Forgetting to ask for contact information. This one is simple, but companies often forget to ask for contact information of guests and customers, which they’d need in case of an outbreak or to verify contact tracing. Without some form of contact information, there’s no way to properly communicate with people who may have been exposed to the virus.
  6. Assuming vaccine proof is enough. With the delta variant spreading, knowing when someone had recent exposure now also matters. Vaccinated people are still able to contract the variant and pass it on to others, making it all the more important to also ask for recent exposure through a health screen questionnaire in addition to asking for proof of vaccination.
  7. Storing vaccination records. While it may seem like a good idea to have people’s vaccine proof stored and referenceable, it is not. It's a liability for an organization to store them for a number of reasons. For one, storing records makes them vulnerable should the company ever be hacked. Moreover, vaccination records contain PHI and PII, which requires proper security and privacy measures to be in place.
  8. Only asking for a survey, online form, or questionnaire to be completed. Like many of the above, this move can be easily faked and result in the company being liable for storing employee data. It also relies almost entirely on people being honest and aware of their recent exposures.
  9. Forgetting about visitors and contractors. Many employers are so focused on verifying employees’ vaccines that they don’t prioritize verifying visitors, contractors, or anyone who may not be a regular employee. Businesses should not only be considering return to office protocols for their employees, but they should also be checking every guest that comes into the office, be it for deliveries, cleaning, off-sites, and more.
  10. Only focusing on headquarter offices and not on verifying status of employees meeting off-site. Some employers only focus on their main office, often neglecting regional or satellite locations that may have fewer employees. It’s critical to make sure that you are considering a scalable verification solution that can work across offices, cities, counties, and states — no matter where your employees might be located.

Proxy has been helping offices and businesses return to the office safely with Health Pass, which makes it easy to verify proof of vaccination and negative test results in a way that prioritizes privacy and security. This workplace health pass was designed and built to make the experience of checking in at the office as seamless and frictionless as possible while never having to share personal health information. Moreover, it makes it easy for HR and People teams to reduce liability and get instant visibility of vaccination and health status of employees and guests.

Learn more about how Proxy Health Pass can help your business reopen safely and at scale in just three minutes by signing up for a free 14-day trial.