Wednesday, December 1

The EU takes the first step to create a common certificate of vaccination against Covid

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The European Union takes the first step to create a common certificate of vaccination against Covid-19, a document that for now will have medical use only. The reason is that the Member States are divided on the possibility of using it also as a passport to facilitate travel without the need for PCR tests or quarantines, as defended by the President of the Government, Pedro Sanchez.

Following the mandate given by European leaders at the January 21 video summit, experts from Member States, with the support of the Commission, have adopted guidelines on what “vaccination tests” should look like for medical use. These guidelines aim to facilitate interoperability and mutual recognition of the different national vaccination certificates.

The aim is to guarantee that the content of the certificates is uniform, for which the minimal data content, with the essential information that each certificate must include: identification of the person and information on the vaccine administered and its manufacturer. The certificate must be presented at least in English, although it may also include other languages.

The guidelines also set the foundation for a framework of trust to ensure the authenticity and integrity of the certificates. This issue is not yet closed and the discussion will continue at the expert level to specify more necessary security and data protection measures.

The agreement clears the way for a solution that can be adapted for both paper and digital media. In addition, it guarantees flexibility and compatibility with existing national formats, as well as rigorous protection of personal data, as reported by the European Commission.

The Commissioner for Health, the Cypriot Stella Kyriakides, has concluded this first agreement between the Member States. “We need a common approach to vaccination certificates and I look forward to continuing to cooperate with the World Trade Organization to expand this tool on a global scale. Interoperable vaccination certificates will be an important tool for citizens during the pandemic, but also when we do. passed, “says Kyriakides.

In fact, countries most dependent on tourismLike Spain, Greece or Portugal, they want these certificates to be used as passports to regain mobility in the EU.

However, other Member States such as France or Germany oppose with the argument that it is not yet known whether vaccinated people can continue to infect and that situations of discrimination or privileges must be avoided, especially at a time when antidotes are still very scarce. Therefore, the debate on this issue has been postponed indefinitely.

The guidelines have been consulted not only with WHO, but also with the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). The agreement focuses on vaccines against Covid-19, but they could be used in the future to demonstrate the administration of other antidotes.

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