People who have taken both doses of Covid-19 vaccines and want to travel abroad will have a CoWin vaccination certificate with their full date of birth. Currently, CoWin certificates mention the beneficiary’s age based on the year of birth. The date will follow the “yyyy-mm-dd” (Year-Month-Day) format and it will be as per World Health Organization (WHO) standards for international travellers. The new feature will be likely to be available from next week.
Speaking to media, Dr RS Sharma, the CEO of National Health Authority (NHA) said, “As the world is slowly opening up for business and travel, we are working continuously to ensure that international travellers can travel stress-free. This new feature and the format of date of birth will be in “yyyy-mm-dd” format as per the WHO standards for international travellers.”
This comes as the United Kingdom has issued its new travel guidelines to include the Covishield vaccine in its updated list of approved Covid-19 vaccines. Following India’s strong criticism over the UK’s refusal to recognise Covishield, London has included the vaccine in its updated international travel advisory.
However, Indian travellers vaccinated with two doses of Covishield would still have to undergo 10 days of quarantine in the UK.
In a recent press conference, health secretary Rajesh Bhushan had said the union government and states have “line data” on those vaccinated, down to names, telephone numbers and addresses.
While reports on the UK’s alleged misgivings did the rounds, National Health Authority chief executive RS Sharma, who also heads the CoWin team, said he was unaware of any queries over data. “I’m not aware of any concern being raised by any of their (UK) officials over Covid vaccine certificate generated by CoWin. It is a foolproof certificate with each and every information validated on the system,” Sharma said.
On 22 September, amid a row over the UK’s vaccine recognition policy, the UK government issued an updated international travel advisory to include AstraZeneca Covishield among the eligible Covid-19 vaccine formulations but kept India out of the 18 countries on an approved vaccinations list, requiring Indians to follow rules set out for “non-vaccinated” travellers.