The official NHS app will prove patients’ vaccination status from next week, without GP practices having to do anything, the Government has announced.
From next Monday (17 May), people will be able to use the NHS app to access their vaccine records, or request physical copies to verify whether they have received their doses.
Currently, practices do need to enable record sharing for patients’ statuses to show on the app.
At present, this move only applies to those who live in England.
The Department of Health and Social Care also stressed thatpeople should not contact their GP surgery about their Covid vaccination status. It added that GPs can also not provide letters showing this.
Discussing the plans for the ‘vaccine passport’ style move in the daily briefing on Friday (7 May), transport secretary Grant Shapps said: ‘From 17 May, English residents will be able to use their existing NHS health app to gain access to their vaccine records.
‘Alternatively, they’ll be able to request a paper letter to verity their vaccination status.
‘We’re working to develop these global standards for digital travel certification.’
GPs around the country welcomed the confirmation by Dr Nikki Kanani, NHS England’s medical director for primary care. Some described their ‘huge relief’, while others shared that it was ‘so helpful’ and that they were updating their practice’s social media straightaway.
GP leaders had previously warned that any Covid vaccination passport scheme must add ‘zero workload’ for practices.
Last month, the UK Government was also warned over the human rights implications of introducing vaccine passports.
Meanwhile, last week, EMIS launched a new feature on its Patient Access app to display Covid vaccination status and the myGP app now also displays vaccination status as long as the patient’s practice has granted access to the immunisations/vaccinations section of their medical record.
A version of this story first appeared on our sister title, Pulse.