Tools & Productivity

Vaccine passport apps hit 12 million downloads globally

Jul 07, 2021


Adam Blacker

Jul 07, 2021

VP, Insights

Updated 07/18/21 and added two apps; CLEAR - Fast, Touchless Access and IATA Travel Pass. Clear is available globally but 97% of its downloads are from the US. IATA is also available globally. The US represents 16% of its downloads and China represents 9%.

Since December 1 2020, cumulative downloads of the top vaccine passport apps have grown to over 12 million (12.6M to be exact) globally.

The apps above provide digital proof of identity and select health records. The vast majority of countries are not requiring people to be vaccinated for them to visit, which is why uptake has been low. Still, these apps can register COVID-19 test results which the majority of countries will require before entering their borders.

The largest app by way of downloads is the NHS app, which is only available for download in the United Kingdom. It was announced in late April that it would be necessary for foreign travel. The population of the UK is roughly 67 million people. With 6,554,000 downloads since 12/1/21, we are looking at 11.3% of the population and 21% of those fully vaccinated. The NHS app was originally launched in December 2018 to be used as a patient portal but adoption now is primarily driven by COVID-19 related needs.

The next largest app is NYS Excelsior Pass Wallet, which is only available for download in the United States. It's the largest app of its kind in the US and the only one getting any true adoption numbers. Having launched in March 2021, it has accumulated 1,758,000 downloads, which is 9.4% of New York state's population and 16.7% of New Yorkers fully vaccinated. Weekly downloads of the app have been falling since mid-May. 

VeriFLY: Fast Digital Identity launched in July 2020 for use with COVID-19 test results. It was only downloaded 19,200 times from launch through 11/30/20. Since then, it has been installed on 1,608,000 mobile phones. VeriFLY is available globally but the US is its biggest market, accounting for 62.5% of all downloads. The UK is next up with 8.6%, followed by Colombia with 6.2%. Weekly downloads of the app have been increasing since May.

CommonPass is also available globally. It launched in February 2021 and has been installed on 135,450 phones since then, making it the smallest of the vaccine passport apps we're tracking. Its largest market is the US, accounting for 83.5% of its total downloads. This is followed by Japan with 4.2% and then Germany with 2.6%. Weekly downloads of the app have been increasing since June.

How do people feel about using vaccine passport apps?

Not great. Apptopia analyzes written app reviews and tags each review as positive, neutral, mixed or negative. This and other factors go into how we calculate overall sentiment for any app's user reviews. 

vaccine passport app sentiment

As you can see above, only NYS Excelsior Pass Wallet has broken into the positive quadrant of our matrix, but even still, not very far into it. In reading through the reviews tagged as negative for these apps,  we realized people find that they are simply not working as they should.

Over the past 90 days, "american airlines" is the third commonly used keyword in reviews for the VeriFLY app. This is because American Airlines announced that it was working with the app for test verifications, but almost every review with this keyword is negative. Passenger data is either not transferring to American Airlines or passengers are having to fill out the same information twice, once with VeriFLY and once with American Airlines, negating the benefit of the app.

The reason NYS Excelsior Pass Wallet has a number of positive reviews is because the app works as intended if you were vaccinated at a state site. If you are a New York resident vaccinated outside of the state, the app will not be able to find your data for verification. If you were vaccinated at a pharmacy such as CVS, the app is often not able to find your data. Others are having issues because their information was entered incorrectly at the vaccine site.

There are sure to be more developments as time unfolds. Check back here every Monday for updated data.

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Adam Blacker

VP, Insights