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Ticketmaster Wants to Know Your COVID Status… Maybe?

11.13.20

BY: PHEOBE HORIBE

UPDATE: After a boatload of backlash, Ticketmaster walked back their announcement that people might have to prove they are COVID-free to enter a venue. “We know there’s some incorrect information being reported around safety/ entry requirements and want to ensure everyone has all the facts,” the ticketing giant tweeted Thursday night. “To clarify, there is absolutely no requirement from Ticketmaster mandating vaccines/ testing.” Hmm… ok then. 

ORIGINAL STORY: It was recently announced that pharmaceutical company Pfizer has developed a vaccine proven to be 90% effective. Distribution has yet to be worked out and most likely won’t be worked out for some time as the vaccine itself has many moving parts. 

They would need to decide where and when to ship the vaccine, which must be stored at minus 94 degrees fahrenheit (minus 70 degrees celsius, basically the South Pole on a winter day) and they would have to train health care employees on how to administer the vaccine. On top of that, the vaccine must be given in two doses — one taken three weeks after the first — and getting people to come back for the second dose is not a guarantee. 

Still, Ticketmaster is ready to sell tickets to anyone who can show proof of receiving this vaccine. They will also accept anyone who has tested negative within 24 to 72 hours before the event. They plan on making this possible on everyone’s smartphone through their app by teaming up with online health providers and vaccine distributors like Labcorp. Ticketmaster also handles a portion of Broadway ticketing, so it also begs the question of whether this would be required to see a Broadway show. 

As of yet, the FDA has not approved any third-party companies with the technology to offer real-time COVID results but the president of Ticketmaster, Mark Yovich, is hopeful that the demand for it will attract investors and entrepreneurs to create the technology soon. Fingers crossed someone else can get the work done!

So, what about HIPAA you might ask? Well, apparently the online health providers would only be giving the “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” to Ticketmaster. No information is shared directly or stored by the ticketing company. Don’t worry, Ticketmaster won’t be in charge of any medical records… thank god.

The vaccine itself is still in development, with no exact timeline as to when or where distribution will start, and the technology does not yet exist to provide online, real-time COVID test results. So, with 2 out of 3 links missing in this plan, there doesn’t seem to be too much hope for concerts to return any time soon, despite Ticketmaster’s “announcement.”