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Thumbthing else

Hudson Cooper
Posted 8/6/21

We have been dealing with this virus for a very long time. Just when we thought we were on the verge of controlling it, variants have caused a spike in the numbers.

In response to the increasing …

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Random Thoughts

Thumbthing else


We have been dealing with this virus for a very long time. Just when we thought we were on the verge of controlling it, variants have caused a spike in the numbers.

In response to the increasing number of new covid cases, New York City instituted a vaccine mandate. To be allowed entrance to gyms, restaurants and entertainment centers you must show proof of vaccination. If successful, that type of mandate might be adopted by other locales.

When the country opened up months ago, restaurants, ballparks and concert arenas were packed with people happy to be out of isolation. In most cases, people had to show proof of vaccination or at least a recent negative covid test to enter. Showing that proof is a time-consuming process.

The problem is the over-sized vaccination card. When the card was on the drawing board, didn’t the designer realize that it should easily fit into the standard wallet? Instead of fitting in a wallet like your driver’s license or credit cards, many of us must fold it in half and force it into a compartment. At the venue, you dig out your wallet, find your vaccination card and then present it to security to be examined. It is a time-consuming process that frustrates you, the security guard and the grumbling people on line behind you.

Another problem with the vaccination card is the ease of counterfeiting it. Anybody with a home printer can do a two-sided copy of a card after whiting out the scribbled information. Since there is no universal government stamp to show the type of vaccine and date of vaccination, handwritten notes are scribbled on the card. Maybe it is time to do away with the vaccination card to speed up the process of entering places and insuring viability.

We all carry a possible solution in the palm of our hand. Well, not in the palm but in close proximity. I propose the whole vaccination identity system be given a big thumb’s up by replacing the proof of vaccination card with a thumbprint!

The accuracy of using thumbprints for identification has evolved over the years. Once used solely by law enforcement, now your thumbprint can be used to unlock both your car and your cell phone. Some upscale hotels have replaced the standard key lock or card swipe with a pad that recognizes your thumbprint. Thumbprints are so individual that in many cases, given the proper technology, they are accepted to replace a signature on contracts.        

Those of us who have already been vaccinated, would be required to go to a location and have a thumbprint taken by a standardized machine. That print would be stored in a central computer supervised by the government. The thumbprint would not be used for any function other than proving vaccination.

Those who have not yet been vaccinated can have their thumbprint stored at the time of their injection. If the CDC decides that eventually booster shots are necessary, that data can be updated by computer at the vaccination sites.

The ease of showing vaccination with a thumbprint may reduce some of the anxiety associated with covid. The device that would read a thumbprint would have a simple way of displaying if a person was vaccinated. No need for a lengthy LED readout of dates or type of vaccine. Since the prints would be stored in a nationwide system, the only readout would be either a green or red light. Green means go and that your proof of vaccination allows a speedy entrance.

To convince the public to appreciate the thumbprint identification scanner system maybe there should be an ad campaign with a memorable slogan. I envision sports figures, film stars and other celebrities doing public service ads showing them displaying a thumb. In fact, I suggest we call the new campaign’s slogan “Give A Thumb’s Up!”


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