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Discovery's new digital vaccine card is not a vaccine 'passport'

8 September 2021 4:23 PM
Tags:
Discovery Health
Digital vaccine passports
vaccine passport

CapeTalk host Pippa Hudson and consumer journalist Wendy Knowler look at the issue of vaccination passports and Covid travel.

- A number of countries have begun asking travelers for a digital vaccine certificate or vaccine QR code

- Discovery Health has come up with a digital vaccine card, but says it's not a 'passport'

- Consumer journalist Wendy Knowler answers your consumer questions every Wednesday at 2pm on Cape Talk


Countries are starting to open their borders to fully vaccinated people. © thamkc/123rf.com

Last month a listener from Kuilsriver told CapeTalk's John Maytham how he and his family had missed out on an opportunity to move abroad due to their proof of Covid-19 vaccinations not being accepted.

Shayn's wife was due to start a two-year employment contract in Qatar, their daughter was set to start school there too.

But their South African vaccination cards were not accepted by officials in the Arab country and Shayn says due to this situation his wife's job offer was withdrawn.

Pippa Hudson asks consumer journalist Wendy Knowler whether there has been any clarification on the issue in recent weeks.

Knowler says she's heard of cases where tourists in Europe have been denied entry to certain venues because they were unable to adequately prove their vaccination status.

You may have read that South Africans are being barred from some restaurants, galleries and hotels in Europe because our “paper” vaccination card is not accepted there.

Wendy Knowler, Consumer journalist

As South Africans, there is currently no option of a government-issued digital vaccination passport or certificate, but some medical schemes members do have the option of accessing a digital version of those cards.

Wendy Knowler, Consumer journalist

RELATED: Cape Town family struggled to prove vaccination status for international travel

For South Africans to be able to travel internationally, that little hand-written card is not going to cut it - we will have to have some form of digital proof that we’ve been fully vaccinated, and right now we don’t have that.

Wendy Knowler, Consumer journalist

It's very complicated, you've got all different people saying all sorts of things.

Wendy Knowler, Consumer journalist

IATA predicts that if passengers continued to use manual paper processes, the total airport experience, from check-in to departure and the arrivals process, would go from around 1.5 half hours to around eight hours if the volume of passengers recovered to 2019 levels.

Knowler says Discovery Health may have come up with a partial solution for its members, in the form of a digital version of the paper vaccination card.

Dr Ronald Whelan, Chief commercial officer at Discovery Health explains how it works.

What we sought to do at Discovery was to provide a simple, digital vaccine which would be a replica of your paper card.

Dr Ronald Whelan, Chief commercial officer - Discovery Health

It's a digital vaccine CARD - a digital vaccine passport would suggest you would be able to travel across a range of different countries.

Dr Ronald Whelan, Chief commercial officer - Discovery Health

This is not a vaccine passport, nor is it a vaccine certificate, it's just a digital manifestation of your vaccine card.

Dr Ronald Whelan, Chief commercial officer - Discovery Health

RELATED: Fully vaccinated South African? The world is opening up for you…




8 September 2021 4:23 PM
Tags:
Discovery Health
Digital vaccine passports
vaccine passport

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