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Key considerations for vaccination certificate success

Feature
4 Mins.

Vaccination certificates can play a role in helping countries recover from COVID-19, but their successful implementation depends on a number of key factors

When it comes to leaders in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, Israel is near the top of most global charts. The country has one of the highest vaccination rates – over 5.4 million people, or 62% of the population, had received at least one dose as of the beginning of May 2021.1 It was also one of the first countries to introduce vaccination certificates, in February 2021.

Many other countries are looking at whether such documents could be introduced as part of wider efforts to keep people safe as governments look to bring the coronavirus pandemic under control, boost their economic recovery, and facilitate their citizens’ ability to travel abroad.

Put simply, vaccination certificates are proof that a person has been vaccinated against COVID-19. In that respect, they are an extension of international vaccine records – documents that date back to the 1930s and that demonstrate that a traveler has been inoculated against diseases such as yellow fever.

Israel offers its citizens three documents: a Green Pass, a vaccination certificate, and a certificate of recovery. The Green Pass is widest in scope, entitling anyone who has been vaccinated against the coronavirus, who has recovered from coronavirus disease, or, in the case of those younger than 16 years old, who has tested negative in a coronavirus test to enter a wide range of establishments and mass participation events.2 The vaccination certificate is available to those who have a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and is recommended for international travel.3 The certificate of recovery confirms holders have recovered from COVID-19.

With smart healthcare – in the form of electronic patient records for example – growing in popularity, a coronavirus-related certificate need not be regarded as an outlier. “With the growing availability of COVID-19 vaccinations, the introduction of a vaccination certificate is an essential step in the return to normal life,” says Marc-Julian Siewert, COO at Veridos.

Coronavirus vaccination certificate requirements

To ensure a successful vaccination certificate program, governments need to factor in a range of considerations, from privacy and inclusivity to technology standardization.

The first important consideration concerns data. A vaccination certificate requires a certain amount of information to function – a person’s name, the type of vaccine used, and the date it was administered, as well as details about the organization issuing the certificate. Other information, such as biometric data, is superfluous and risks undermining trust in the certificate. Using data that adheres to World Health Organization specifications will keep the amount of information needed to a minimum and enable comparability with other nations’ certificates.

Vaccination certificates can only work if every citizen has access to them, so availability is the second consideration. Both physical and digital options must be provided to avoid a two-tier system in which vaccination certificates are only available to digitally savvy individuals with a good internet connection, or to those with physical access to an issuing entity or a printer.

“With the growing availability of COVID-19 vaccinations, the introduction of a vaccination certificate is an essential step in the return to normal life“
Marc-Julian Siewert
COO at Veridos

Health and safety through technology

Covid-19 passport with QR code on smartphone

The third consideration relates to contactless technology. Whether using a digital or paper vaccination certificate, it should be verified with widely available remote verification technology to ensure a secure process. As COVID-19 is still prevalent, minimizing human contact with a device such as a smartphone or tablet will also help users to stay healthy.

What underlying technology to use is the fourth consideration. Existing public key infrastructure has a number of benefits if used for the creation of vaccination certificates: it streamlines deployment, maintains security, and makes international operability quick and easy to implement.

The fifth and final consideration deals with the importance of deploying a standardized solution. Given that healthcare professionals are required to fill out vaccination certificates, it is important to minimize the time they have to spend on completing them. Using a single nationwide solution will ensure efficiency and create consistency, helping doctors and nurses to do their jobs without adding too much additional work.

Making a return to normal a reality

VeriGO® TrueSeal, from Veridos, is one such solution. Featuring unique, visible digital seal technology that will be compliant with the ICAO standard for vaccination and test certificates, it comprises an online platform and app to create and verify vaccination certificates.

As governments search for tools that will mitigate the COVID-19 health risks and allow their citizens to get their lives back to some sort of normality, vaccination certificates can play an important role in making this a reality.

  1. Getting Vaccinated. Going Back to Life. Israel Ministry of Health, 2021

  2. What is a Green Pass? Israel Ministry of Health, 2021

  3. What is a Vaccination Certificate? Israel Ministry of Health, 2021

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