Vietnam readies IT infrastructure for Covid-19 vaccine passports

By Viet Tuan   March 20, 2021 | 07:11 am GMT+7
Vietnam readies IT infrastructure for Covid-19 vaccine passports
A medical staff at HCMC Hospital for Tropical Diseases checks a vital of the AstraZeneca vaccine on March 8, 2021 when Vietnam starts its mass vaccination campaign. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Khoa.
Related agencies and telecom providers say information technology infrastructure for handling Covid-19 vaccine passports will be ready next month.

The infrastructure can be used if Vietnam decides to let in foreigners having vaccine passports, it was announced Friday at a meeting of the National Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control.

The committee said concerned agencies should be prepared to offer their best services for the most complicated cases if and when Vietnam adopts policies on vaccine passports, allowing vaccinated foreigners to enter the country.

The IT infrastructure that is being prepared for vaccine passports should include the software and website system to confirm information of people entering the nation like conditions of entry permit, types of vaccine, nationalities of the citizens and other related information that needs to be declared, said Tran Dac Phu, senior advisor at the Public Health Emergency Operations Center under the Health Ministry.

For locals, the vaccination information will be integrated into their electronic health record system, which will be linked with the citizens’ database.

"Such integration will not only create the most favorable conditions for people during the vaccination process but also allow authorities to better manage the travel and movement of Vietnamese people in the most consistent and convenient way should new outbreaks occur in the future," the committee said.

As of Saturday, nearly 31,000 Vietnamese citizens, mostly medical staff and frontline workers, had been vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine. All of them are in stable condition.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc had earlier this week ordered relevant agencies to map out plans to implement a Covid-19 vaccine passport scheme and reopen international flights to help tourism and aviation sectors recover.

Local experts have said that Vietnam should designate certain destinations to welcome vaccinated foreigners back, while residents in these localities are inoculated against Covid-19 to boost "herd immunity."

The government closed national borders and canceled all international flights in March last year. Since then, only Vietnamese repatriates, foreign experts and highly-skilled workers have been allowed in with stringent conditions.

China has already rolled out its vaccine passport while Thailand and the U.K. are considering similar initiatives.

The World Health Organization, however, has urged caution, advising against having proof of vaccination as a condition for international travel.

"This is because the efficacy of vaccines in preventing transmission is not yet clear, and global vaccine supply is limited. Recommendations will evolve as evidence about existing and new Covid-19 vaccines is compiled," it said earlier this month.

 
 
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