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NASA wants app to monitor, analyze employee vaccinations

To comply with the executive order mandating federal employees be vaccinated against COVID-19, NASA is looking for a smartphone app that would not only allow its 18,000 employees to display their vaccination status when entering a NASA facility, but also help the space agency efficiently survey, report and analyze data on the immunization status its workforce.

Under the executive order, agencies must require documentation from employees of their immunization record that includes the date of vaccine administration and the name of the health care organization providing the vaccine, according to an FAQ on SaferFederalWorkforce.gov. That documentation can be a paper or digital record that clearly and legibly displays the required information. 

While agencies must collect information necessary to verify that an employee is fully vaccinated, they may develop their own processes, systems, tool or applications for data collection and maintenance -- provided they allow employees to update their vaccination status and related information, per the FAQ.

To meet those requirements, NASA issued a presolicitation on Sept. 21 for technologies and software that could be downloaded to a smartphone that will allow employees to display their vaccination status before entering a NASA facility. The solution must also give agency officials a way to quickly report analytics on the number of employees vaccinated, while simultaneously maintaining the privacy and security of employee data. 

Users must be able to manually input data as well as upload a photo of a proof-of-vaccination document and any booster shots. The solution must also allow for results from rapid antigen tests, including the time/date of the test and result, and alert app users to a positive test result and when a completed test is more than seven days old.

To maintain the security and privacy to the data, the app should verify the employee’s identity either through biometrics or a scan of a driver’s license or other government-issued ID. Uploaded data must be encrypted and converted into a QR code or a color-coded indicator so vaccine status can be easily checked upon entering a NASA facility. 

The solution should include a reader or a downloadable smartphone application that can read the QR code in order to identify if an employee meets the criteria.

Aggregated data must be exportable to allow for reports analyzing overall employee vaccination rates, NASA said.

The request for information asks potential vendors if their solution can meet federal data requirements for storing COVID testing data, such as the Federal Information Security Modernization Act for overall cybersecurity and the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program for cloud-service security controls.

Comments and questions are due Sept. 24. Read the full RFI here.

About the Author

Susan Miller is executive editor at GCN.

Over a career spent in tech media, Miller has worked in editorial, print production and online, starting on the copy desk at IDG’s ComputerWorld, moving to print production for Federal Computer Week and later helping launch websites and email newsletter delivery for FCW. After a turn at Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology, where she worked to promote technology-based economic development, she rejoined what was to become 1105 Media in 2004, eventually managing content and production for all the company's government-focused websites. Miller shifted back to editorial in 2012, when she began working with GCN.

Miller has a BA and MA from West Chester University and did Ph.D. work in English at the University of Delaware.

Connect with Susan at [email protected] or @sjaymiller.

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