A new wearable product has hit the market, meant to allow people to display their coronavirus vaccination status to everyone around them – a wearable device called ImmunaBand. It’s just arrived in California, having already been used in New York and Philadelphia.
Apart from serving to publicly signal that a person supports vaccination – something difficult to achieve by simply carrying a vaccine card with you – the device also contains data on their vaccination status.
For $20, people can buy the bracelet and then send a copy of their vaccine card to the company behind ImmunaBand, which promises to store this information on servers. The product is delivered only after this, containing a QR code that is used to verify, by connecting to the website., that someone has been inoculated against coronavirus.
Dr. Toshof Bernton, who is behind the gadget, said that this personal data was safe because if someone stole the bracelet they could access the website, but would need a PIN to access the information, i.e., the copy of a person’s vaccination card.
According to reports, the product is taking off and Bernton has already sold thousands, with one customer informing him that he was able to attend a basketball game at Madison Square Garden in New York by showing the bracelet at the door.
Some in the hospitality industry also appear interested in having staff visibly display their vaccination status and therefore personal medical information by wearing a band, with one Los Angeles restaurant already purchasing ImmunaBands.
But not everyone is thrilled with the idea, with a San Diego woman suggesting that the thing may just be intrusive. “Sometimes you go to a restaurant and you don’t even know the waiter’s name. I don’t need to know their medical history like that,” she told local media.
Others think that a bracelet of this type, worn as proof of vaccination, will help dispel “doubts about going to certain areas,” as another San Diego resident phrased it.
On its website, the company that produces the bands describes them as “seamless” bracelets that are a symbol of vaccination and will help do away with “uncertainty” people are experiencing.
Customers are urged to buy and wear these bracelets to work and restaurants, but also to show that they are supporting and participating in the vaccination effort – and, as ImmunaBand makers say, demonstrate their vaccination status to the world.