What is Vaccine Passport and How you can get one?
With receding waves of COVID-19 across the world, the pace of international passenger traffic is picking up. Hence, obtaining a vaccine passport is crucial. Read all you need to know.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, countries have adopted strict protocols and measures to avoid people entering without a vaccination certificate or a negative RT-PCR test report.
With receding waves of COVID-19 across the world, the pace of international passenger traffic is picking up. With vaccination coverage, international travel is expected to increase more in the coming months. Hence, obtaining a vaccine passport is crucial.
What is Vaccine Passport?
•A Vaccine Passport or also known as an immunity passport is documentary proof to show that a person has been vaccinated against COVID-19.
Which countries ask for Vaccine Passport?
•In March 2021, China announced its digital vaccine passport that is accessible through an app by scanning a QR code to verify traveler’s vaccination status. In April 2021, Japan rolled out its digital vaccine passport. In May 2021, the United Kingdom launched its NHS Vaccine Passport.
•The European Union (EU) requires a Digital Green Certificate if one is visiting its 27 member countries. A Digital Green Certificate includes a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR, a list of approved vaccines, or proof of recovery from COVID-19.
India’s COVISHIELD not included in EU's Digital Green Certificate?
•India recently witnessed a deadly second wave of COVID-19 pandemic. Now that the wave is subsiding, the country is reopening, and people are expecting to travel abroad.
•India’s vaccination coverage has crossed 32.13 crores. India currently administers Covishield, Covaxin, and Sputnik V against COVID-19.
•The European Union (EU) in its updated guidelines did not include Covishield in the Digital Green Certificate approved list of vaccines.
•The approved list of vaccines for the Digital Green Certificate consists of Janssen (Johnson & Johnson), Vaxzervria (AstraZeneca-Oxford), Moderna, and Comirnaty (made by Pfizer-BioNTech).
•Hence, travelers vaccinated with Covishield may not get the EU’s Digital Green Certificate. Covishield manufacturer, Serum Institute of India (SII) CEO Adar Poonawala informed that the company is in discussion with the authorities to resolve the issue.
Nine European countries add Covishield to their Digital Green Certificate List
Nine European nations have included Serum Institute's Covishield vaccine in their Digital Covid certificate list, allowing travel by people who have been vaccinated with Covishield. The move came after India took the issue up with the highest EU officials.
The nine countries include Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Greece, Austria, Slovenia, Ireland, Estonia and Iceland. Estonia has confirmed that it will recognise all vaccines authorised by the Indian government.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) had clarified that individual EU member states are free to include Covishield in their Green Pass List, as it has been approved by the World Health Organization (WHO).
How can you get Vaccine Passport?
•While the issue of Digital Green Certificate for people vaccinated with COVISHIELD is being worked out, people who are looking to travel abroad are required the follow a procedure to obtain a Vaccine Passport.
•The Government of India updated the Aarogya Setu app to enable vaccinated people to link their passports with their vaccination status.
•Here is the step-by-step guide to getting your vaccine passport:
(i) Log in to http://cowin.gov.in
(ii) Open Account Details and go to Raise Issue
(iii) Select Add Passport Details. Choose the name of the person whose passport is to be updated on the app.
(iv) After choosing the name of the person in the previous step, enter the Passport Number of the Beneficiary.
(v) Select the declaration box. Check through everything and click Submit Request.
(vi) After submitting the request, a message notifying successful status update will be sent on the registered mobile number.
(vii) Next, return to Account Details and select the Certificate tab. You can download your Vaccine Passport.