Health Minister Dr. Christopher Tufton
Health Minister Dr. Christopher Tufton has said the government is in discussions to implement a tamper-proof COVID-19 vaccination card.
Dr. Tufton made the disclosure on Monday as he responded to questions about fake vaccination cards being manufactured locally.
"We are looking at how we can move from a paper based signature and stamped card, which clearly has greater risks in terms of manipulation, despite the fact that it can be validated through the database cross-vetting to a more digitised approach."
"We have a software that I think is quite efficient, gives us real time numbers in terms of vaccination. We had announced and unveiled it some months ago. This is a UNICEF facility that we had adopted and tailored it to what we have in house in the ministry. So it would be to add another leg to that, which is how we digitise on a card for persons," Mr. Tufton noted.
The Health Minister said the upgraded cards are necessary to meet international standards for proof of vaccination.
"Our capacity as a country to interact with other countries for trade or otherwise - like the US - is going to be impacted if we do not conform to those standards that require validation of vaccination... It then raises now the issue of how do you prove that you are [vaccinated], and I think the international community, through the WHO and others, our multilateral partners and countries, will have to come up with a standard format that we will all comply with overtime," he reasoned.
In the interim, Dr. Tufton reiterated that his ministry is able to ascertain if a vaccination card is genuine through a database which allows for cross checking to prove if persons are, in fact, vaccinated.