Singapore discussing COVID-19 vaccine certification with other countries, says PM Lee

Singapore discussing COVID-19 vaccine certification with other countries, says PM Lee

COVID-19 vaccination at Tanjong Pagar, Singapore (6)
An elderly person receiving a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at Tanjong Pagar Community Centre on Jan 27, 2021. (Photo: Jeremy Long)

SINGAPORE: Singapore is discussing the mutual recognition of COVID-19 vaccine certificates with other countries, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Wednesday (Feb 24), calling it a necessary step towards resuming global travel.

In a video recording posted on Facebook, Mr Lee also said there must be global cooperation so that all countries have access to the vaccine. 

"The world must be united in our response to COVID-19," said the Prime Minister.

"Vaccines allow us a way out of the crisis, they are now a reality. Even if each of us gears up to secure our own supplies, we must cooperate internationally so that all countries including developing ones have access to vaccines for their people," he added.

"We are also discussing mutual recognition of vaccine certification with interested countries."

In a written parliamentary reply on Wednesday, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said his ministry is engaging international counterparts and monitoring global advancements on the development and recognition of vaccination certificates.

READ: COVID-19 vaccination for seniors aged 70 and above begins in Singapore

He was responding to Member of Parliament (MP) Lim Wee Kiak (PAP-Sembawang), who asked if vaccination data will be shared with the World Health Organization and other countries, and how Singapore will determine that the vaccination records provided by visitors are authentic.

Dr Lim also asked if people who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 are given certificates and if the record will be made available on the National Immunisation Registry.

Everyone who has received a COVID-19 vaccination in Singapore will get a vaccination card that includes information such as their personal particulars, vaccine brand and dates of vaccinations.

All local COVID-19 vaccination records are digitally stored in the National Immunisation Registry. People can also view their vaccination records on the Ministry of Health's (MOH) HealthHub app, accessible via SingPass, said Mr Gan.

“This can be extended to other relevant government applications where appropriate,” he said.

“The adoption of digital vaccination certificates locally and globally will improve our ability to ensure that certificates presented by visitors are authentic,” Mr Gan said.

READ: COVID-19 vaccination error: Those involved in process should not step away before completing immediate task, MOH says

He said that his ministry and the Government Technology Agency (GovTech) have established a system for issuing digital COVID-19 test certificates for travellers and visitors. This system will be extended to digital vaccination certificates.

“This way, vaccination information can be shared with relevant international authorities safely and securely,” he said.

Singapore began its COVID-19 vaccination exercise on Dec 30, with healthcare workers at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases the first to get the shots. The country has since rolled out vaccinations to more groups of people, including the elderly and essential workers like those in the aviation sector. 

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Source: CNA/gs

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