Official: Estonia will have digital vaccine certificate ready in April

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Coronavirus vaccines. Source: Pixabay

Estonia will have a digital vaccine certificate ready by April, Kalle Killar, Undersecretary for E-Health and Innovation at the Ministry of Social Affairs said on Wednesday.

Speaking to ERR on Wednesday evening, Killar said: "We are working with Guardtime to get the solution ready by the end of April. It was important to know what the European agreement is, what data we should share."

He said the vaccine certificate will be available on the patient portal. The person will receive a QR code from the portal which can be printed or displayed on the phone. 

Killar said the QR code will show data from the health information system prooving the person has been vaccinated, with which vaccine and how many doses they have received.

Estonia has not yet finished making agreements with neighboring countries but they will be reached in the next few weeks so the certificate will be ready for use by the end of April. The European Union plans to come up with a similar solution by June.

Killar made the announcement when speaking at the e-Governance Academy's "Digital Health Security and the Vaccine Certificate".

"Launching our national solution early gives us the possibility to address potential obstacles in the use of the certificate. In addition, with our solution already working we are ready to join with the EU green certificate from day one once the agreement is in place," he said.

"Last but not least, we are committed to providing in all areas to our citizens the best possible digital tools and information. And one thing more – the national solution that we are planning to launch complies already with EU green certificate."

He stressed that privacy and security should be ensured in order to gain citizen's trust to create certificates.

"They give a perfect opportunity to take digitalization in healthcare forward. We must aim higher, as this sense of urgency opens up a lot more opportunities for cross-border data exchange," he said.

Konstantin Hyppönen, DG SANTE, European Commission, presented an overview of the proposal on the Digital Green Certificate. The vaccination certificate will be issued to all citizens vaccinated against COVID-19 and will list only the key information – identity, vaccine administered, metadata, he said. "

It will facilitate free movement in the EU and ensuring the basic right to data protection," he said.

The Digital Transformation Talks is a series of timely online discussions organised by the e-Governance Academy. This event is organised in close collaboration with the Estonian Government Office. 

Watch the discussion below:

In the immediate region, Lithuania is also developing a QR code immunity certificate which will be ready by the summer, Lithuania's national broadcaster LRT reported. Latvia has already started work on a vaccine certificate, which LSM reported would be ready in April. Finland is already issuing vaccine certificates.

Editor's notes: This article was updated with additional quotes from Kalle Killar.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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