Ministers rule out coronavirus vaccine passports

Vaccine passports will NOT be issued by the Government but people travelling to countries which require proof they have had a jab will be able to ask their GP for written evidence

  • Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi today ruled out introducing vaccine passports
  • But he said that people will be able to ask their GP for proof they have had a jab
  • Some countries could soon require proof of vaccination as a condition of entry

Vaccine passports will not be introduced by the Government but people will be able to ask their GP for proof they have had a jab should it be a requirement for travel, a minister has said. 

Nadhim Zahawi ruled out the prospect of state-issued documentation showing whether someone has had a coronavirus vaccine.

However, with some countries expected in the future to insist on proof of vaccination as a condition of entry, the Vaccines Minister said travellers will be able to obtain written proof from their doctor to show to border officials.

Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi today ruled out the introduction of vaccine passports

Mr Zahawi revealed the UK’s vaccination drive almost hit 1,000 jabs every minute at one point yesterday

Downing Street has repeatedly stressed that it has no plans to introduce vaccine passports. 

Supporters of such a scheme argue it would allow people to travel freely once they have had both doses of a jab. 

But critics believe the documents should be resisted because they could lead to discrimination against people who have not had a vaccine. 

Countries like Greece have suggested they will waive quarantine rules for travellers who have been vaccinated. 

Asked whether the Government is considering issuing vaccine passports, Mr Zahawi told Sophy Ridge on Sky News: ‘No, we’re not. One, we don’t know the impact of the vaccines on transmission.

‘Two, it would be discriminatory and I think the right thing to do is to make sure that people come forward to be vaccinated because they want to rather than it be made in some way mandatory through a passport.

‘If other countries obviously require some form of proof, then you can ask your GP because your GP will hold your records and that will then be able to be used as your proof you’ve had the vaccine. But we are not planning to have a passport in the UK.’

Mr Zahawi revealed that the UK’s vaccine roll-out almost hit 1,000 jabs a minute at one point yesterday as the Government tries to deliver on its ambition to vaccinate all over-50s by May. 

He said: ‘The limiting factor is vaccine supply, so vaccine supply remains finite. I can tell you that yesterday between 11 and 12 o’clock we almost got to 1,000 jabs a minute.

‘We got to 979 jabs a minute so the deployment infrastructure of which GPs are absolutely the backbone of this whole deployment with hospital hubs, national vaccination centres, now we have 100 national vaccination centres, and 200 pharmacies, the deployment infrastructure can do the volumes that we will get through.

‘I am confident we will meet our mid-February target of the top four cohorts. I am also confident because I have enough line of sight of the deliveries that are coming through that we will also meet the one to nine cohorts by May and we will say more about that next week when we hit the first target, I hope all goes well.’ 

Government data up to February 5 shows of the 11,975,267 jabs given in the UK so far, 11,465,210 were first doses – a rise of 494,163 on the previous day’s figures.

Some 510,057 were second doses, an increase of 4,064 on figures released the previous day. The seven-day rolling average of first doses given in the UK is now 440,896.

Based on the latest figures, an average of 392,754 first doses of vaccine would be needed each day in order to meet the Government’s target of 15 million first doses – covering the top four priority groups – by February 15. 

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