Up to one million Covid digital green certs to be issued by email

ireland
Up To One Million Covid Digital Green Certs To Be Issued By Email
An Oireachtas committee heard more than 1.8 million certificates will be delivered to people who are fully vaccinated by July 19th. Photo: PA Images.
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By Cate McCurry, PA

Up to a million Covid digital green certificates for travel are to be issued by email on Wednesday to people who are fully vaccinated, an Oireachtas committee has been told.

Around one per cent of those emails are expected to bounce back because of incorrect information provided on forms.

The Joint Committee on Transport and Communications was told that more than 1.8 million certificates will be delivered to people who are fully vaccinated by July 19th.

However, Liz Canavan, assistant secretary general at the Department of the Taoiseach, warned that they may face a small backlog over the coming days.

The committee heard from a number of Government officials about the implementation of the EU Digital Covid Certificate.

Around 160,000 paper vaccine certificates were posted yesterday for people who were vaccinated by a GP, at a pharmacy or hospital.

Barry Lowry, government chief information officer at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, said the volume of certificates printed and posted out will be determined by the printing facility logistics.

Mr Lowry said that the Revenue Commission is working to print between 70,000 to 90,000 certificates a day.

All posted certificates are expected to be completed by next Tuesday.

People who were vaccinated at HSE vaccination centres will receive their Covid certificate by email.

 

Mr Lowry added: “By close of play today, we will have sent out 750,000 emails and overnight we will send out the remainder.

“By lunchtime tomorrow we should have one million emails sent.

“About one per cent of those emails we are expecting to fail or bounce back because the person didn’t put in the right email address when they registered or changed their email address.”

App update

The EU is rolling out a Digital Covid Certificate so travellers can prove their vaccination status in order to exempt them from quarantining when crossing an international border.

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The Covid-19 Tracker App will also be updated to allow people to upload their certificate, which will become available on the phone wallet.

Mr Lowry said that it is expected to be made available from Monday.

Ms Canavan said the implementation of the Digital Covid Certificate cuts across many government departments, describing the system as “large and complex”.

“Where no email address is available, vaccine certificates are being posted out to home addresses, mainly those who were vaccinated through their GPs,” she told the committee.

People who have recovered from Covid-19 in the last six months and want a certificate will have to request one from a call centre from July 19th.

Ms Canavan said this is due to the lack of data that was collected from people when they were tested for the virus.

“A call centre will be fully operational from July 19th where vaccine certificates can be requested,” Ms Canavan added.

“Those who have recovered from Covid, certificates will be available by request through the call centre.

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“An operative version of the Covid Tracker app will also be available shortly and this will allow people to upload their certificate paper or PDF to a wallet on their phone.

“In terms of generating certificates based on a negative or not detected test, they will be provided through private operators who will meet minimal requirements, for example the use of EMA (European Medicines Agency) approved tests.

“The EU regulation gives the option to issue vaccine certs to people vaccinated elsewhere with EMA vaccines upon receipt.

 

“Arrangements for provision of vaccine certs to people not vaccinated in Ireland, including Irish passport holders vaccinated in Northern Ireland, will be considered once the initial rollout is in place.

“A Digital Covid Cert call centre is being established to take queries from citizens who have been vaccinated and received certificates, it will also resolve issues for citizens who require a cert but have not received one or who are requesting a Covid recovery certificate.

“An interim emergency line will be in place from today and we are prioritising queries from people who travelling in the very near future and have received their certificate.

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“As of today, 160,000 paper vaccine certificates were posted yesterday and due to arrive in homes today. Approximately one million emails will be issued between yesterday and tomorrow.

“It’s anticipated that more than 1.8 million certificates will have been delivered by July 19th.”

Muiris O’Connor, assistant secretary at the Department of Health, said: “We will move on immediately post-July 19th to facilitate the recognition of vaccinations that take place in other jurisdictions.”

Mr O’Connor said it may be possible to upload a QR code generated from other EU countries and the Common Travel Area on to the Covid-19 Tracker App, but that is still being worked on.

The emergency line is 1800 851 504 – however, officials have urged people to call over the next few days only if they have a query about the certificate they have received.

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