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Saturday, October 16, 2021

Post UK plaints, NHA comes up with ‘international vaccine certificates’

This mainly includes display of the vaccinated person’s date of birth on their certificate.

By: ENS Economic Bureau | New Delhi |
October 1, 2021 1:48:38 am
National Health Authority CEO R S Sharma. (File)

Following remarks from the British authorities over India’s vaccination certificate format, which resulted in inoculated travellers from India being treated as unvaccinated, the National Health Authority (NHA) has updated the certification to make it compliant with the specifications detailed in WHO’s Digital Documentation of Covid19 Certificates: Vaccination Status.

This mainly includes display of the vaccinated person’s date of birth on their certificate.

“Building a world-class digital platform for vaccination, we have ensured CoWIN certification is compliant with the WHO-DDCC:VS data dictionary. Now, international travellers can download an international version of their certificate that reflects their date of birth from CoWIN,” NHA CEO R S Sharma said on Thursday in a tweet.

Earlier this month, the UK updated its travel guidance, clarifying that the formulations of Covishield qualify it as an “approved” vaccine but not the Covid-19 certificates issued by India. This meant that following the new UK travel rules coming into effect from October 4, Indian travellers would have been continued to be treated as “unvaccinated” and would have still had to take a pre-departure RT-PCR test, further RT-PCR tests on Day 2 and Day 8 of arrival, and self-isolate at their destination address for 10 days after entry.

Last week, Sharma had said: “There can be no concern because our product is as perfect as it can be. It is QR code-based and absolutely verifiable. Its authenticity can be verified; its integrity can be verified.” He further said India’s vaccination certificate was WHO-compliant, except on the minor issue of providing complete details of birth. “We don’t collect things that are not relevant. We only collect the year of birth, because the passport already has the date of birth.”

Even on that issue, Sharma said, the CoWIN platform allows travellers to enter complete details for the purpose of international travel.

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