VXPASS, the blockchain-based digital vaccine card provider contracted by public-private partnership Sesiu sa Tšoele le beta Poho Fund (SESIU) to manage COVID-19 vaccine recording and tracking in Lesotho, updates that it has received support from the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Bank and the State Department of the United States in implementing its digital vaccine monitoring program.

VXPASS Gets Support By WHO, World Bank,
VXPASS Gets Support By WHO, World Bank, US State Department in COVID-19 Vaccine Monitoring Program in Lesotho Pixabay

In May 2021, VXPASS signed an agreement with SESIU and stipulations include managing vaccination rollout in the land-locked African nation. SESIU is in charge of administering the first 560,000 vaccinations with a target of vaccinating a total of 1.2 million citizens by the end of the year.

VXPASS is tasked to record these vaccinations on the blockchain, ensuring not only the efficiency of the digital vaccination monitoring program, but also providing individuals with privacy and ownership of data.

This means that while the government of Lesotho and other global entities involved in the vaccination rollout, such as WHO and the World Bank, can easily verify and monitor vaccination records updated in near real time, the identity of vaccinated individuals are given anonymity. Moreover, ownership of vaccination and medical records remain in the hands of the vaccinated person.

Receiving Support from International Organizations

It was a surprise that the implementation of the digital vaccination monitoring program has experienced issues not with its technological aspects as one might expect, but with the bureaucracy of dealing with this kind of national program.

"So, we had some friction between this private organization that was set up to support the Covid effort and the public organizations that are set up to support all of the other healthcare in the country. We were excited to sign the deal. These people had the resources. They were in charge of the COVID response and we were just gung-ho. As we got closer to roll out, these friction points started to pop up in ways that we didn't really plan for," Zachary Weiner, founder of VXPASS, said.

According to Weiner, these unexpected issues made it clear that VXPASS has to change the way they approach private entities and government agencies; and this approach is centered on ensuring that there is simultaneous communication with and between all parties involved and that objectives are aligned.

"We changed the approach from going to one direct entity that could sign and operate to bringing in the whole of government from the beginning so that everybody is on the same page, and that all of the documentation that is being read by the people who will implement this is known to everybody at the same time," Weiner explained.

The U.S. State Department has been very helpful in directing VXPASS to the right businesses to partner with in Lesotho. The WHO, which is responsible for doling out donated COVID-19 vaccines, and the World Bank, which is in charge of funding vaccine procurement, have been crucial in letting the digital vaccination monitoring program run smoothly, without "getting bogged down in some of the bureaucracy that may be unique to that continent."

On top of receiving valuable support from the U.S. State Department, the WHO and the World Bank, working with these international organizations also means validating the real utility of vaccine on blockchain and promoting its advocacy of giving back data ownership to individuals.

"From our perspective, that means that being as they can be advocates for what we're doing, not necessarily our brand of or flavor of what we're doing, but the principle behind separating identity and allowing patients to own their records and digitizing records that may have been analogue before, the interested invested parties are more than happy to kind of come alongside of us and say, 'these are some of the benefits that we see from the commerce perspective or from the health industry perspective,'" Weiner revealed.

Vaccine Records on the BSV Blockchain

Because VXPASS is built on the BSV blockchain, the largest public blockchain and also the only one capable of limitless scaling, it can easily accommodate millions of vaccination records. Using a public blockchain also means that data is immutable, secured, verifiable and recorded in a timestamped manner.

Limitless scaling, on the other hand, ensures that data blocks on the BSV blockchain can be increased continuously. As the data blocks grow in size, which is currently at 2GB, throughput can also be increased. The Teranode project that will be released early next year will effectively increase throughput to between 50,000 to 100,000 transactions per second.

And as throughput increases, it has the opposite effect on transaction fees. At present, fee per transaction on the BSV network is at less than a penny, and this will further be lowered to very small decimals, making it capable of creating a global vaccination database and the most cost-efficient solution compared to other blockchains.

With this kind of technology as its foundation, Weiner is confident that global adoption of VXPASS is within reach. In fact, VXPASS has recently become the first-ever blockchain-based digital vaccine card approved by the City of San Francisco.

"Part of our new approach is to partner with the nations so they see that we have some skin in the game and we're not just going to disappear one day," Weiner said.