Two more countries recognize Vietnam’s vaccine passport

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Two more countries recognize Vietnam’s vaccine passport

People queue to enter terminal 2, as tighter rules for international travellers start, at Heathrow Airport, amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, London, Britain, January 18, 2021. Photo: Reuters

With the recent addition of Iran and Malaysia, the total number of countries recognizing Vietnam’s vaccine passports has reached 19, the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported.

Vietnam has reached agreements on mutual recognition of full COVID-19 vaccination certificates, also known as ‘vaccine passports,’ with 19 countries in the world, deputy spokesperson of the foreign ministry Pham Thu Hang said at a press briefing on Thursday.

These countries include Japan, the U.S., the UK, Australia, India, Belarus, Cambodia, the Philippines, Palestine, Maldives, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Turkey, Singapore, Saint Lucia, South Korea, Iran and Malaysia.

A vaccine passport, which is actually a COVID-19 vaccination record and/or a COVID-19 recovery certificate, does not replace other exit and entry papers such as passports, visas, international travel documents, laissez-passers, temporary and permanent residence cards, and visa exemption certificates, the spokesperson said.

Holders of vaccine passports of these countries and Vietnam are subject to the same health procedures as local vaccinated people, Hang noted, adding that the mutual recognition includes exemption for consular authentication or legalization of such passports when they are used in the countries of destination.

Vietnam’s Ministry of Health recently announced it will begin issuing vaccine passports for citizens on April 15.

A Vietnamese vaccine passport will include the holder’s name, date of birth, nationality, targeted disease, vaccine product, vaccine manufacturer, number of vaccine doses and date of vaccination.

These data will be encrypted into a QR code, with validity of 12 months from the issue date, issued to the vaccine passport holder.

The passport will be displayed on Vietnam’s COVID-19 mobile application PC-COVID or ‘So suc khoe dien tu’ (electronic health book) apps.

The foreign ministry said they and Vietnam’s representative missions abroad are actively negotiating and speeding up the process of mutual recognition of vaccine passports with other countries and territories.

Vietnam, with a population of 98 million people, has documented 10,070,692 COVID-19 infections, with 8,395,066 recoveries and 42,733 fatalities, since the pandemic erupted in the Southeast Asian country in early 2020, the health ministry’s data shows.

Health workers have administered 190,175,683 COVID-19 vaccine doses to the nation’s adult population, including 71,253,350 first shots, 68,090,339 second jabs, and the rest for additional primary doses and boosters since vaccination was rolled out in March 2020.

The number of Pfizer-BioNTech doses given to children aged 12 to 17 nationwide has reached 17,203,676, including 8,815,144 first shots and 8,388,532 second jabs, said the ministry.

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