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Vaccine passports for UK citizens for international travel

Vaccine passports for UK citizens for international travel

Old Mar 1, 21, 2:48 pm
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Vaccine passports for UK citizens for international travel

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster is currently heading a review of vaccine passports and certification for those who have received their Covid-19 vaccines. This is the sort of thing which gets fairly complex, not least because the UK also has to have a dialogue with entities such as the European Union and the World Health Organisation, as well as individual states. For internal purposes the mood music is currently running against certification inside the UK (e.g. to allow going to nightclubs and/or to avoid constant re-testing) out of privacy / discrimination concerns. Plus the emphasis is very much on maximising take up of vaccines because people simply want to have them.

This thread can be updated in a few weeks when the relevant Cabinet sub committee has agreed a solution, I would perhaps expect something in early April. For travel purposes the thinking is to use the existing NHS App to demonstrate vaccination status.

What is less well known is that if you live in England (specifically) this App already securely shows your vaccination status, and this is a step by step guide as to how to get it set up. It's a bit complex but you may want to do some stages now, since two steps requires manual processing, and may take a long while to complete if there is a rush of people getting this information in a few weeks time. You will need your 10 digit NHS number and your passport or driving licence handy. You also need a reasonably modern Android or Apple mobile telephone, with camera facilities, and ideally fingerprint recognition.

Once a decision is made about vaccination passports, I suspect there will be a one-screen QR image / certificate, since as will become apparent, immunisations are buried in with a lot of other records.

1) First download the correct App. In Google Play and Apple Store this is known simply as the NHS App. It is not the NHS Covid-19 App. Though intended as a phone App, it is also available online at:
https://www.nhsapp.service.nhs.uk/login

2) Open the App, and then chose the login option at the bottom of the entry screen. Set up your details with an email address and password (and in this case, you really should make it a secure password, but later on you can switch on fingerprint recognition if your phone allows that). There is also an email confirmation stage and an SMS exchange, so make sure you are able to handle this.

3) You then need to validate your details by taking a photo of your passport and taking a photo of yourself - both stages within the App. The passport photo can be uploaded from a file, but I don't know how easy this is. Once you have submitted this you need to wait "2 hours" for someone to check and validate it. Actually it is currently taking 2 days, so a bit of patience is needed. More information is here:
https://help.login.nhs.uk/provewhoyouare/withid/

4) At this point you may only see a limited set of your GP records, relating to medicines and allergies - essentially the data which is widely shared within the NHS to cope with emergencies. However there is a final stage which shows more records, including your Covid-19 vaccines. For this you need to send a message to your GP to allow you to have "Coded record access". You can usually make this request within the App, and this gives you visibility on medicines, test records and vaccinations. Your GP surgery has to allow this, in some situations, with smaller GPs, you may need to talk to them about this, since the App is not widely used at the moment. A small number of GP surgeries are not linkable, it affects less than 1% of GPs and usually there is some very local reason for this (e.g. you are in a prison).

Here are some screen shots for you. This shows my Covid vaccination details, I have blanked out the name of my surgery and the name of the person who administered my vaccine.




The AZ vaccine is correct in all particulars, however I notice that my influenza jab below has the wrong date, I was actually vaccinated in October but not by my GP.


The following image shows where to find this, under Consultations and Events. Most people will have a lot more than 8 such records, I'm a bit on the low side. The blue "Your Health" tab on the bottom of the screen will take you to this area.



Finally, this is the screen you need to see to get the coded records access



It's not in an obvious place, you go to the Appointments tab on the bottom of the screen, then Additonal GP Services. After this screen you then get a free text box where you can ask your GP to set you up for full access to the NHS App. Best add your phone number, it's actually a clinical decision whether to grant access, but GPs are firmly encouraged to provide full access.

Once you have done this, you will probably have noticed that actually this App does a lot of things quite niftly, including allowing secure messages from you to your GP, repeat prescriptions and in some cases to book an appointment with your GP.

This webpage also gives some troubleshooting assistance:
https://help.login.nhs.uk/mixedsuppo...ibility-issues

Last edited by corporate-wage-slave; Mar 1, 21 at 2:54 pm
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Old Mar 1, 21, 4:27 pm
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Thank you as ever!!!!
. You then need to validate your details by taking a photo of your passport and taking a photo of yourself - both stages within the App. The passport photo can be uploaded from a file, but I don't know how easy this is. Once you have submitted this you need to wait "2 hours" for someone to check and validate it. Actually it is currently taking 2 days, so a bit of patience is needed
Downloaded the app, took a photo of drivers licence and instead of photo of myself it asked for a video of me saying four numbers, uploaded and It took less than 2 minutes to validate
In addition to that, myGP app that I already had, is now showing this
MOre information can be found here https://www.mygp.com/ticket/
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Old Mar 1, 21, 5:03 pm
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this is amazing, thank you. i wasnt planning to download the app but based on the info you mention above, it makes sense.

it took me a few minutes to get through all the set up, i was easily able to upload my passport from a photo on my iphone, and yes had to record a video reciting 4 numbers to match the passport...and sure enough, just 2 minutes later the email verification came through here at 11pm.
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Old Mar 1, 21, 5:16 pm
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This is really interesting and helpful thanks for the heads up. But will our UK app be accepted abroad?
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Old Mar 1, 21, 5:40 pm
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Originally Posted by paulaf View Post
This is really interesting and helpful thanks for the heads up. But will our UK app be accepted abroad?
The EU is looking at some sort of app too, an outline is due on 17 March, and whatever they decide (eventually) will almost certainly be easy for NHS England to align on, since the database is in place, the personal security is in place, the app is in place and the data is already being populated. At worst a new screen needs to be added, plus maybe a passport number. Since the UK (not just England) has a much more centralised health system than many places, and has 38.2% of the adult population already vaccinated, then we appear to have some advantages here. The other way to look at it is that if countries like Spain and Greece are keen to sort something out in this space (and they are on the record of saying that they are), then they would have the choice of accepting something 90% plus already, in place and 100% accurate, or waiting until the EU comes up with something else. Given the princiiple of subsidiarity, if you are the Greek or Spanish minister for tourism, that won't be a hard decision.
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Old Mar 1, 21, 6:03 pm
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CWS once again proving that not all heroes wear capes! Do you have a Slovak relative with equally impressive knowledge of when in 2027 Slovakia and the rest of Europe might roll out a vaccine passport?!
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Old Mar 1, 21, 11:48 pm
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Some countries already have that digitalised information accessible; my Italian sister-in-law has her health records associated to the electronic ID card and then they use an app to 'read' the card and generate a code to access the information.

What worries me is Germany's privacy laws. I was reading (on the Guardian?) that they're so stringent that the vaccination teams couldn't access the ages of local residents so that they could targer the old first...
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Old Mar 2, 21, 12:52 am
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Had the app all set up for a while, albeit without the "Detailed Coded Access" part which I'll request this morning as I don't see anything under the "Appointments" section for Additional Services.

My existing vaccines (which I got for travelling a few years ago) Typhim/Avaxim/Revaxis all appear in my Acute medicines section.
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Old Mar 2, 21, 4:46 am
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As a side note, having used the app prior to covid, its a better way of booking a gp appointment than phoning at 8am with the rest of your neighbourhood and/or one can then type up a description in the app of any health issue you have and a doctor can reply (via the linked email address). They can also set up a prescription if necessary. All very contactless.

Good to see a straightforward enough approach to the inclusion of a Covid vaccine.

As for the ethics/morals about letting people move about or do certain activities based on a vaccine passports, Ill leave that alone as Im not sure how I feel about that yet.

But at least this is a viable way to demonstrate you have a vaccine.
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Old Mar 2, 21, 5:39 am
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I've been using the PC version of this (I think) for a year or so now - can book appointments, have online consultations and order repeat prescriptions (and perhaps make my tea also) but didn't know there was an App. Thanks so much - I'll apply this morning.
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Old Mar 2, 21, 5:51 am
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As I was already using PC access, it took me only 10 minutes to get to the stage where I request full access. I don't think it would have been possible without CWS' help. My comment is that they put too many obstacles in the way of achieving any desired end - classic bureaucratic overkill in my book, but full marks for trying! Now looking forward to jab #2 so that I can say I'm vaccinated!
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Old Mar 2, 21, 6:22 am
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This is the sort of thing which gets fairly complex, not least because the UK also has to have a dialogue with entities such as the European Union
Und what do you think will be the benefits of such a vaccine passport?
I am asking because there is already (for many decades) a yellow vaccine paper notebook available, which is generally accepted around the world (e.g. on yellow fever).

If you think that there'll be a global vaccine passport one day - forget it! Such a global vaccine passport is only as strong as it's weakest link. In many country you ll be able to get a virtual vaccination* for a couple of dollars. And I assume some corrupt UK-based GPs will get access to this database.

* no real vaccination, just a checkmark in the database
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Old Mar 2, 21, 7:40 am
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Originally Posted by warakorn View Post
And I assume some corrupt UK-based GPs will get access to this database.
That we can more or less rule out. There may be some dodgy characters around, but GPs are among the better paid members of the UK state sector (though they are usually employed privately). Many retire well before 55 years old because their pensions hit the 1.25 million (old) threshold, which means there isn't much point working. Since the vaccine will soon be available to all residents it will be a lot easier and cheaper to just get the jab, which is free of charge. In any case, there is a traceable batch numbering system which means you just can't add an entry in because you feel like doing so. You would be almost certain to be found out.
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Old Mar 2, 21, 9:18 am
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
The EU is looking at some sort of app too, an outline is due on 17 March, and whatever they decide (eventually) will almost certainly be easy for NHS England to align on, since the database is in place, the personal security is in place, the app is in place and the data is already being populated. At worst a new screen needs to be added, plus maybe a passport number. Since the UK (not just England) has a much more centralised health system than many places, and has 38.2% of the adult population already vaccinated, then we appear to have some advantages here. The other way to look at it is that if countries like Spain and Greece are keen to sort something out in this space (and they are on the record of saying that they are), then they would have the choice of accepting something 90% plus already, in place and 100% accurate, or waiting until the EU comes up with something else. Given the princiiple of subsidiarity, if you are the Greek or Spanish minister for tourism, that won't be a hard decision.
Are we going to see a worldwide system set up soon? i.e. if vaccinated abroad?
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Old Mar 2, 21, 9:26 am
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Originally Posted by momoflyingguy View Post
Are we going to see a worldwide system set up soon? i.e. if vaccinated abroad?
That goes back to (probably) what the WHO will come up with in due course. The WHO decision making process is quite slow and I imagine this is very low down their priority list. Hence those places which are vaccinating a lot - many such places are also Covid hotspots - will perhaps want to move faster. So that would be the UK, EU+EEA and Israel as things stand.
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