No One Left Behind: Finding the Way Forward for Students who are Unable to Receive the COVID-19 Vaccine
Real Vaccination ID Waiver Cards Provides Colleges and Universities with an Individual’s Proof of Medical, Religious, and Philosophical Waiver Documentation
April 12, 2021
WILMINGTON, NC—Proving your COVID-19 vaccination status may be one of the easiest ways to return to school, clinical rotations, and everyday life as many colleges and universities across the country implement vaccine mandates. But what happens to the millions of Americans who can’t receive the vaccine? To those with underlying medical complications or closely held religious and philosophical beliefs who are unable to be vaccinated.
To help these students, faculty and staff safely and responsibly communicate their status, CastleBranch has created the Real Vaccination ID COVID-19 Waiver Card, a driver’s license–sized card that provides validated physical and digital proof of an individual’s legally permissible waiver status. The offering builds upon the company’s previous release of the Real Vaccination ID COVID-19 Vaccination Card, which helps individuals prove their COVID-19 vaccination status.
According to a study printed in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, more than 1.6% of the United States population, or over 5.23 million individuals, have reported a prior anaphylactic reaction, which can include a potentially life-threatening response to medication such as vaccines. For these cases, and many like them, all 50 states in the U.S. recognize the need to grant a medical waiver to protect those with underlying conditions in certain education and employment sectors. Likewise, 47 states recognize religious waivers, while 18 states permit exemptions for personal or philosophical beliefs. But with each state operating under its own set of regulations, it becomes increasingly difficult for individuals and organizations to understand their rights, responsibilities, and legal paths forward.
CastleBranch’s Real Vaccination ID COVID-19 Waiver Card was designed to help colleges and universities navigate this complex landscape, enabling them to take the appropriate safety precautions when providing the cardholder with access to school facilities, clinical rotations and resources.
For many schools, finding a solution to accommodate waivers is nothing new. A majority of colleges and universities require student immunizations, such as flu, hepatitis B or meningitis, prior to coming on campus or to attending offsite externship experiences, including nursing students in a clinical setting. But a patchwork of state laws dictates that schools must accommodate certain waiver requests for vaccinations and immunizations. The procedure is often complex, requiring careful adherence to process and policy while protecting sensitive private data in accordance with federal regulations such as Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). At present, over 70 percent of healthcare education programs in the country already rely on CastleBranch to help manage vaccination and waiver status, with the company having reviewed over 35 million medical records and waiver documents over the last two decades. With RealVaccinationID.com cards, students will now be able to prove their status not just on campus, but off campus as well, helping them to responsibly communicate their status to third parties as they see fit.
To obtain a waiver card, students, faculty and staff will be asked to provide documentation to prove their legally permissible waiver request. Once validated, a card featuring highly sophisticated anti–fraud technology will be issued to the individual that includes their name, address, date of birth, physical identifiers, photo, and a QR code. Using the QR code on the back of the card, along with a unique access code and PIN number, third parties presented with this information can access digital copies of primary–source waiver documentation to confirm status. However, it is completely up to the cardholder when and with whom this data is shared. Private data gathered for the RealVaccinationID.com cards will never be shared or collected in a database and distributed to third parties by CastleBranch, ensuring a “Nothing About Me Without Me™” approach that empowers individuals to maintain control of their own digital information and identity.
CastleBranch is an infectious disease screening and nationally accredited consumer reporting agency with 20+ years of experience, and is the leading provider of vaccination, immunization and waiver tracking in the United States. The company has tracked, reviewed, and/or stored over 35 million medical documents—including complex vaccination and waiver documentation—for a majority of healthcare education programs in every state across the nation. CastleBranch’s trusted review services are currently used to gain entry to highly secure operating rooms, healthcare facilities and nearly every hospital in the country. As a consumer reporting agency, CastleBranch handles all sensitive medical documents while maintaining compliance with HIPAA, FERPA, FCRA, GDPR, CCPA and other relevant state and federal privacy regulations.
“Over 533 million Facebook users were recently reminded just how critical it is that we protect our personal, private information in the wake of a widespread data breach at the company,” said Brett Martin, CEO of CastleBranch. “For too long, personal and medical data has been hijacked, monetized and mishandled by big tech, exposed or misused for corporate gains as opposed to bettering the lives of the individual. We believe individuals – not corporations, governments or search engines – should control their own identities, their own data, and their own destinies. Our RealVaccinationID.com cards give people the power to declare their COVID-19 status without compromising their rights, autonomy or personhood.”
For more information on Real Vaccination ID cards, visit www.RealVaccinationID.com.
Media Contact: Daniel Schechtman, CastleBranch Director of Communications
Located in Wilmington, N.C., CastleBranch is a compliance management and infectious disease screening company serving over 17,700 healthcare programs, tens of millions of individuals, and tens of thousands of employers, schools and healthcare facilities nationwide by verifying identity, tracking over 35 million medical documents, and helping individuals transition to and through professional life. CastleBranch has 20+ years of experience, employs over 500 team members and has a long track record of providing innovative solutions for complex problems.