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Vaccination Status Update

Posted on July 26th, 2021

Demonstrating COVID-19 status

Individuals in England who have had a full course of the COVID-19 vaccine can now get proof of their vaccination details and demonstrate their COVID-19 status for international travel using the NHS COVID Pass.

There are 3 options to demonstrate COVID-19 status: via the NHS App (if you have full access to the App and are registered at a GP surgery), through NHS.UK and by letter from the 119 telephone service.

NHS COVID Pass for event trials

The NHS COVID Pass allows individuals to demonstrate their COVID-19 status at a series of event trials in England.

Attendees visiting one of the events will be asked to demonstrate their COVID-19 status when entering the event. Using the NHS COVID Pass will help streamline entry to the event and help gain access quickly.

By downloading the NHS App individuals can use the NHS COVID Pass to show their vaccination or Lateral Flow Test status to the event staff.

If individuals don’t have access to a computer or smartphone, they can order a copy of the NHS COVID Pass letter if they have been vaccinated by telephoning 119. The letter can take up to 5 working days to arrive.

Recording overseas vaccinations

This guidance from Public Health England (PDF) summarises the status of a variety of vaccines available in the UK and overseas. This includes clinical guidance on whether an individual needs further doses in England and if so, which type of vaccine is recommended to complete the course.

It is not recommended that vaccine courses are repeated just so that individuals can be included in the NHS COVID Pass. Extra doses which are not required from a clinical perspective may lead to increased side effects.

Currently there is not a central mechanism for capturing details of overseas COVID-19 vaccines, and only vaccines delivered in the UK can be accepted as evidence for UK COVID certification/ the NHS COVID Pass.

A technical solution to support the recording of vaccinations overseas in the National Immunisation Management System (NIMS) is in development, and we will provide an update as soon as possible.

In the meantime, if someone has had their first dose outside of the UK, in England they should be directed to a walk-in clinic which administers the same brand of vaccine they have had for their first dose, or a GP practice (especially if they have had a brand of vaccine not available in the UK) to arrange their second dose.

Patients should be told that at this time, only vaccines delivered in the UK will count towards UK COVID certification and that the NHS is working on a solution.

If a patient registered with a GP in England makes you aware they have had a vaccination overseas, it is also good practice for GPs to record the details as free text in the clinical notes section of the patient’s GP record. The vaccination can be coded as a first or second dose, but type of vaccine will not be able to be coded as only vaccines given in the UK have SNOMED codes. Overseas vaccinations should not be added to any point of care system (for example, Pinnacle Outcomes4Health) as this will result in incorrect GP payments.

Patient queries about vaccination records

A service is being established to support people in England with specific queries about their COVID-19 vaccination records. This service is expected to go live in August and we will provide more information when available. In the meantime, you can find answers and support for common data queries on the NHS Digital website.