Exclusive: Govt working on digital vaccine passport

Maiki Sherman
Source: 1News

The Ministry of Health is working on a digital vaccine passport – known as My Covid Record.

The new app currently in the pipeline would allow an individual user to create an account and upload health records, including vaccination and testing data.

The move would bring New Zealand more in line with other countries around the world, including China and the European Union, who already have what’s known as ‘vaccine passports’ – providing digital certification of vaccination including by way of a QR code.

The update comes following queries by 1 NEWS to the Ministry of Health over the lack of digital certification regarding the vaccine, which is impacting New Zealanders living abroad.

At the moment, New Zealanders are having to rely on a letter from the Ministry of Health or from their own GPs.

Kiwi expat Patrick Hall is currently living and working in the UK, just outside of London.

He received his Pfizer vaccination while back in New Zealand earlier this year, but says it’s not easily recognised over in the UK.

“If I present to them my letter from my GP in New Zealand showing that I’ve had two doses of Pfizer – they don’t accept that,” Hall said.

International business commentator Charles Finny says it impacts those working globally and says a digital passport must be a priority.

“I think it’s increasingly essential. A number of jurisdictions won’t let you in if you haven’t got proof of vaccination,” Finny said.        

National Party Covid-19 response spokesman Chris Bishop says the Government has been too slow to get the new app online.

“That is an oversight. That is something we should have thought about at the start of the vaccine programme and I can understand the frustration of people who want to travel or who in some cases already are travelling offshore,” Bishop said.

The Ministry of Health says it expects to have more to say on the new app in the coming weeks.