Brazil considers blockchain tracking for COVID testing

Blockchain-based tracking will help the government monitor the health of its citizens

Image of a healthcare professional holding an injection and vaccine
Four coronavirus vaccines are currently being tested in Brazil

Brazil is currently looking into the use of blockchain for the fight against the coronavirus. A YouTube webinar from the Ministry of Justice and Public Security discussed the usefulness of blockchain and its potential use for coronavirus tracing.

A news report by MercoPress released on September 9 estimated that the COVID-19 vaccine may launch by 2021. However, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro, along with Vice President Hamilton Mourão, confirmed the government had no plans of making the vaccine mandatory.

“Many people want the vaccine to be applied in a coercive way, but there is no law that provides for that,” Bolsonaro explained during a live chat with his supporters on Facebook.

“There is no way for the government – unless we live in a dictatorship – to force everyone to get vaccinated,” Mourão reiterated on a radio interview.

Brazil is considering the use of the National Health Data Network (RNDS), a blockchain-based system that was constructed using the Hyperledger Fabric blockchain framework. The Coordinator of Systems Development at the Ministry of Health, Elmo Raposo Oliveira, stated that the RNDS is responsible for monitoring anyone who has ever received a vaccination for the coronavirus.

The system follows each injection administered and receives data on the individuals vaccinated before uploading it to the blockchain.

“RNDS ‘objective is to promote the exchange of information between the points of the Health Care Network, allowing continuity of care in the public and private sectors,” Oliveira explained.

The goal of the system is to allow for the widespread case and vaccine tracking, enhanced data efficiency, and clarity on the situation. The RNDS will also be storing other patients information, such as treatments and medications received.

The country is planning to administer a COVID-19 shot called Oxford Vaccine that was developed from a collaboration between the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca, a British pharmaceutical company.

Brazil is also considering a vaccine developed in China called the CoronaVac, which resulted from collaborative vaccination efforts between the two countries.

Brazil, the most populous country in Latin America, is a key testing ground for the coronavirus vaccine. The country has approved phase three clinical trials for four vaccines under development. They are being developed by Oxford University/AstraZeneca and Pfizer, in collaboration with BioNTech, Janssen and China’s Sinovac Biotech.

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