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COVID-19 Vaccination Certificates in Croatia: How Will They Look?

By 9 March 2021
This photo is not an actual depiction of the vaccination certificate
This photo is not an actual depiction of the vaccination certificate Pixabay

March 9, 2021 - Krunoslav Capak explains that the look of COVID-19 vaccination certificates in Croatia and the EU has been defined, though they are currently only used for medical purposes and not for crossing the border. 

Jutarnji List reports that the appearance of EU COVID-19 vaccination certificates has been defined.

As Krunoslav Capak, head of the Croatian Institute of Public Health and a member of the National Civil Protection Headquarters, explained to Jutarnji list, the certificate must contain the name of the vaccinated person, the country they come from, the name of the vaccine used, the date of vaccination, the serial number of the vaccine and a bar at which the data can be read.

"The appearance of vaccination certificates has been defined, but for now, they are used only for medical purposes and not to cross the border. The use of certificates for crossing the border is now intensively discussed. The time will surely come when the EU will make a decision. However, there are still a lot of questions and controversies," said Capak, adding that no EU country has made a decision on crossing the border based on vaccination, but there are bilateral agreements.

"We also have some bilateral talks about recognizing vaccination certificates mutually," Capak added.

He further explained that there are still no visuals but an agreement at the EU level on the certificate's content.

"An agreement has been reached on the content of the certificate. It should contain the name and surname of the person, the vaccine that was used, the date of vaccination, and the serial number of the vaccine," Capak explained.

The state should also be listed. Given that it will be a smart solution, Capak says it will take up to three months for it to work. Namely, the EU is still discussing whether vaccinated citizens will receive smart cards or have a code that can be read on a mobile phone.

"It seems to me that the most probable variant is with a QR code, but as we are talking about a large number of people from all over the EU, it is clear that it is a big job for data collection, but also for experts who will find IT solutions," concludes Capak and adds that the rules will apply to Croatian citizens as well as to the rest of Europe.

Already now, all citizens who have been vaccinated, regardless of which vaccine - Pfizer, Moderna, or AstraZeneca - receive a vaccination certificate, i.e., a card with their name and surname, the vaccine they received, and the serial number. It is a cardboard card that additionally contains when the second dose is received. Different manufacturers have different cards, but the principle is the same. Each card also has a QR code, but it does not contain the data of the person who was vaccinated, but information about the vaccine they received.

As Capak also points out, such certificates can only be used for medical purposes for the time being. Still, the EU is discussing what kind of application they could have, especially in tourism. Although vaccination is voluntary, some airlines have already made it clear that only vaccinated passengers will fly. Some EU members have already announced that such certificates will substitute for a negative PCR test when entering their country. Israel, for example, announces that without such confirmation, citizens will not be allowed to enter mass gatherings, and unvaccinated employees will work in dislocated offices and will not be allowed to socialize with others.

Such an approach opens up many controversies, especially in human rights, given that vaccination is voluntary and that, at least for now, there are not enough vaccines on the market for everyone. Thus, the question arises whether vaccination can be required as a condition for entry, for example, on a plane.

Therefore, as Jutarnji finds out, in addition to IT requirements, the huge deficit of vaccines on the market is one reason why passports will not work for some time.

To read more about COVID-19 in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

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