The U.S. has finally opened their borders to international tourists for the first time since the COVID pandemic broke out last year. Because of the eased travel restrictions and increased flow of passengers and tourists, there has been an uptick in the demand for digital health passes to prove one's vaccination status.

In fact, American Airlines reported an almost 10% increase in its VeriFLY app usage for travel since the U.S. lifted entry restrictions onNovember 8, spokeswoman Rachel Warner confirmed. Similarly, Apptopia saw a 5% increase in downloads in these types of apps a week before the travel ban was lifted, as per the company's director of equity research, Thomas Grant.

"With the reopening of international borders, it puts the onus on individuals to be able to prove [their vaccination status]," executive director Dakota Gruener of ID2020, a nonprofit group advocating for digital identification, told NBC News. "Airports are having to staff as many people to handle much lower travel volumes than they did pre-pandemic because there's so much paperwork."

Gruener argued, "If we can continue to rely on handwritten, paper-based certificates or certificates that are visually scanned, it will be a less efficient process. You will see backups and very long queues at takeoff and landing."

Moreover, vaccine apps have struggled to provide just one solution that caters to all the varied certificate and passport requirements of different countries. This is why Samsung, one of the biggest mobile and tech brands in the world, is stepping up. According to WND, Samsung has developed a "vaccine pass" system in partnership with Switzerland-based nonprofit The Commons Project and CommonHealth.

The Commons Project is known to be funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, which claims that "communities are stronger when data is open and can be shared for the benefit of all." CommonHealth on the other hand is listed as a public service by The Commons Project, which helps people "collect, store and share their personal health information." The service claims to empower users with their health information while protecting it with industry-leading "privacy standards." CommonHealth also uses an active registry of healthcare providers that meet certain eligibility requirements. If a patient has been given a vaccination, the provider can then issue a vaccine pass that can be uploaded to the Samsung Wallet.

The report raised questions as to how people are becoming more reliant on digital cards such as virtual payment methods Samsung Pay and ApplePay. While they offer a range of seamless transaction processes, it also offers some downsides, such as increased reliance on mobile phones and technology, especially in the face of continued decline of in-person social interactions that are "arguably necessary for mental health and a well-functioning society."

In Massachusetts, however, Gov. Charlie Baker reported that it and several other states will soon adopt a digital COVID vaccination passport, as per MassLive. The report said that according to the governor, there were between 15 to 20 states in a coalition working to develop the technology for a digital COVID vaccination passport.