After weeks of disagreement and reluctance EU member states have agreed on a set of guidelines that will allow for the establishment of an EU-wide accepted vaccination certificate to be used for “medical purposes”, said the European Commission this week.
The approved standards, which have the support of the European Commission, also set out the basis for a trust framework to ensure the authenticity and integrity of certificates with emphasis on data protection and security measures.
“I welcome the adoption of the guidelines on the proof of vaccination for medical purposes. We need a common approach to vaccination certificates, and I am looking forward to continuing cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO) to scale up this tool at global level,” said Stella Kyriakides, commissioner for Health and Food Safety.
“Interoperable vaccination certificates will be an important tool for citizens during the pandemic but also after we have overcome it.”
The agreement comes after Greece tabled the idea for an EU-wide Covid-19 health certificate that would enable the re-start of safe travel and contribute to the bolstering the EU’s weakened economies.
The guidelines, issued in consultation with the Health Security Committee (HSC), the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), and WHO pave the way for a scheme that could accommodate both paper and digital means, ensuring flexibility and compatibility with existing national solutions, as well as rigorous protection of personal data, which was a key concern expressed by EU leaders last week.
According to the Commission, the guidelines which initially concern Covid-19 vaccination, “might be used in the future as a basis for proving vaccination status”.