As of Monday, August 2, Australians who have finished their vaccination process for COVID-19 can now load their vaccination certificate into Apple Wallet or Google Pay for easy access.
To date, around 15% of the Australian adult population has been fully vaccinated. There is currently limited use of the vaccine certificates as a kind of ‘passport’ for freedom of movement, but the update to make them easy to load into iOS and Android digital wallets makes them ready for easy use should such a step be taken in future – a very likely step for opening international travel.
The Australian federal government has made huge mistakes during the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in the country being far behind the rest of the OECD nations in our vaccination program. While we had a lot of success thanks to state leadership in keeping a lid on infections and spread over the course of 2020 and early 2021, the federal government failed to secure enough vaccines to secure that advantage and convert it into a quickly reopened Australian society.
Reports suggest the government decided to try to play hardball on the price of Pfizer vaccines when they were first offered in 2020, resulting in getting very little access to the mRNA technology and putting us way behind on dose availability.
The federal government has also been consistently poor at managing contracts related to digital services, so this is a positive step to see this kind of update available before it really seems like a requirement for opening up from more lockdowns.