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Estonia launches digital covid vaccine certificate system

Vaccination certificate QR code.
Vaccination certificate QR code. Source: ERR

From today, Friday, recipients of coronavirus vaccines can self-generate their own digital certificate, which can also be authenticated using its accompanying Quick Response (QR) code.

The certificate, also known as a vaccine passport, will also dovetail into the EU's own Digital Green Passport (green referring to green-to-go as regards being clear of coronavirus, not relating to the environment – ed.), once that system – approved Thursday by the European Parliament – is rolled out.

The product was developed by private sector firm GuardTime, and contains an endorsement from President Kersti Kaljulaid on its website.

Tõnis Jaagus spokesperson for the Health Board's (Terviseamet) information system, TEHIK, told ETV morning magazine show "Terevisioon" that the new system commences activity Friday.

While vaccination passports could already be printed off from a patient's details on the digital patient portal, they can now be scanned using the QR code displayed on a smartphone or other device – in much the same way as plane and other tickets can be.

The new solution also combats potentially fraudulent activity – cases have been found where passengers have attempted to board flights using a forged printout, Jaagus told "Terevisioon".

Those unable to use the patient portal for whatever reason can appoint a representative who is able to do so and who can act on their behalf, he said.

Whichever institutions accepted printed-out certificates – state agencies etc. – will now also accept the digital certificate, Jaagus added.

All that is required is a QR code reader, which will take the user to a link authenticating the passport.

In theory, events, for instance, could also be organized where only attendees who held a digital certificate would be admitted, Jaagus added.

Patient Portal interface in Estonian. Source: ERR

Jaagus also demonstrated how to generate the digital certificate – which naturally only applies to those who have received a coronavirus vaccine – which can be viewed (in Estonian) here (44"-50"-mark).

While only digital certificates of immunization are available as of now, the system will be substituted by options for same on negative coronavirus test results, he said.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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