As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, a ray of hope has emerged in the form of vaccines. Whenever businesses in the US fully reopen, vaccination is likely to be a prerequisite for entry for those who are eligible to be vaccinated. As such, there is likely to be high demand for a digital verification system that allows businesses and public venues to verify that potential entrants are vaccinated.

What it does

VaxPass is a web app that provides businesses and individuals a platform to verify vaccinations. If the user is an individual who recently received a COVID-19 vaccination, they can register with VaxPass’s internal database and receive a numeric code. Then, when a business needs to verify that that individual has been vaccinated, they can simply input the code into VaxPass’s interface and receive a verification status. VaxPass also includes an interactive map of COVID cases in California counties to aid users and businesses to make safe and smart decisions.

How we built it

VaxPass was built using Python 3, Flask, JavaScript, HTML, and CSS. Using the Flask and Jinja framework, we ran a Python backend on a web frontend. We used the Twilio API in our verification process, to confirm the vaccination record with the healthcare provider. And finally, we implemented a locally hosted database to save all the vaccination records.

Challenges we ran into

One of the biggest challenges we ran into was implementing the verification system. For this, we used Twilio API for a two-factor authentication-like system in which VaxPass sends a text to the customer's healthcare provider. The goal of this double-layered authentication is to verify the accuracy of the vaccination record that the user is claiming. After reading Twilio documentation, we eventually got Twilio API to send and receive messages.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We are proud of having created an intuitive user interface that is easy to navigate for both individuals and businesses alike. We strongly believe VaxPass has the capability to transform the industry of immunization records by allowing users to easily upload digital unique vaccination records while allowing businesses to implement our API and verify vaccination.

What we learned

Through building VaxPass, we deepened our knowledge of Python 3 and Flask - particularly the file upload system. We learned how to upload files using the Flask framework and managing the configurations so that all the files (vaccination card images are saved). We also familiarized ourselves with CSS styling for the frontend layout.

What’s next for VaxPass

A resource like this could have real impact on safety during post-pandemic reopening, and we plan to reach out to people with similar ideas to discuss how to expand this app’s reach going forward. We also plan to talk with some small local businesses to understand their needs in terms of verifying customer's vaccination status.

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