with the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines taking place across the globe, a north carolina-based company has begun issuing ID cards that intend to offer a way for individuals to prove they’ve received a vaccine. costing $19.95 USD, the ‘real vaccination ID’ cards have been launched by CastleBranch, a compliance management and infectious disease screening company that describes the card as ‘your passport to the world’.


currently, many organizations, including the CDC (centers for disease control and prevention) in the US, issue paper forms to confirm an individual’s vaccination status. in contrast, CastleBranch says that its credit-card sized documents incorporate ‘forgery-prevention technology’, with each card paired with a unique access code that — when the cardholder grants permission — can be used to electronically verify the individual’s identity, vaccination status, and view validated primary-source vaccine documents.

could this $19.95 COVID 'vaccine passport' be your next form of ID?


before qualifying for the ID card, individuals will be asked to submit vaccination documentation to CastleBranch for review. CastleBranch will confirm the vaccine manufacturer, administration date, time between doses, and the individual’s identity in a manner consistent with state and federal privacy laws before an ID card is issued. CastleBranch says that ‘personal data used to create these cards will not be sold or given to any third-party entities for ulterior use’.


‘CastleBranch’s ‘real vaccination ID‘ will be your passport to the world,’ says brett martin, CEO of CastleBranch.with these passports, individuals will retain complete control and ownership over their own personal information, nothing about me without me. over two decades ago, CastleBranch became the first company in the country to provide the general public with direct online access to state criminal records to help them prove identity. today, we proudly continue to support the belief that a person’s data is the property of the people — not the government or advertisers.’


the issuing of so-called ‘COVID passports’ is a divisive subject, with many highlighting potential problems with the idea — equality,  privacy, and concerns over potential data breaches are a few possible issues raised. these circumstances and more are examined in an analysis by think tank brookings, which can be read here.