Kampala, Uganda | URN | Following the forgery of COVID-19 vaccination cards and the use of fake vaccines, the Health Ministry has launched an online portal through which those vaccinated can check their status and get digital certificates.
To find out one’s vaccination status, people who have been fully vaccinated need to enter in the details of their identification number and the last six digits of the mobile phone number they used at vaccination.
For the identification number, vaccinated persons can enter in their National Identification Numbers, (NIN) or passport numbers. Dr. Alfred Driwale, the programme manager of the Uganda National Expanded Programme on Immunization (UNEPI), says that the system is instant, adding that applicants should be able to get a PDF copy of their verified results within seconds.
According to Driwale, the vaccination certificate will be the country’s official COVID-19 vaccination document. “We have all the records of all persons that have been vaccinated in our database. The verified certificate that we shall be issuing will have security features that will stop people from forging it,“ he said.
Currently, upon vaccination, one receives a card from the health ministry bearing their particulars such as name, occupation, name of the vaccine used and when the second dose should be administered.
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While the online certificate will carry some of the details on the cards being issued, the health ministry’s Senior Public Relations Officer Emmanuel Ainebyoona says the certificates will also have a QR code that can be scanned to verify the authenticity of the card.
The certificate also shows where vaccination occurred, certificate number, card number and is signed by the director general of health services. Our reporter went to the ministry of health portal, https://epivac.health.go.ug/certificates/#/ and entered in her details and within three minutes, the system had sent a verified COVID-19 certificate.
Dr. Driwale says the card will be internationally accepted. “The certificate was worked on with knowledge of the World Health Organization (WHO), NITA and even security agencies. It is an authentic document that will help solve the issue of fake cards,” he added.
The certificates come at a time when over 1.1 million people have received at least one shot of the vaccine. Of this number, over 230,000 have gotten two jabs of the vaccine making them fully vaccinated and eligible for the certificate.