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EU adopts Mitsotakis proposal on coronavirus “vaccination passport,” says PM’s office

EU member states adopted guidelines on the proof of vaccination for medical purposes on Thursday, following a proposal by Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, his office said on Thursday.

“The first step in the implementation of Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ proposal for a European vaccination certificate was made today,” the PM’s office said, according to state-run news agency amna.

The proposal, it added, is a significant start.

“The next step should be the expansion of their uses to facilitate Europeans’ travel, when a large enough percentage will have been vaccinated. In spite of some critics in Greece, the implementation of the prime minister’s proposal is moving along step by step, and the sooner it becomes reality, the better for all,” it highlighted.

According to a European Commission statement the same day, the EU member states and the European Commission adopted the guidelines aiming “for a scheme that can accommodate both paper and digital means, ensuring flexibility and compatibility with existing national solutions, and a rigorous protection of personal data.”

Commission statement

Following the conclusions of the European Council of 10-11 December 2020 and of 21 January 2021, the EU Member States, with the support of the European Commission, adopted guidelines on proof of vaccination for medical purposes.

These guidelines aim to support the interoperability of vaccination certificates, meaning the contents of the vaccination certificates is uniform, and establish a minimum dataset for each certificate.

They also set out the basis for a trust framework to ensure the authenticity and integrity of certificates, on which work will continue in the eHealth Network, including to further specify necessary data protection and security measures.

The guidelines aim for a scheme that can accommodate both paper and digital means, ensuring flexibility and compatibility with existing national solutions, and a rigorous protection of personal data. Stella Kyriakides, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, said: “I welcome the adoption of the guidelines on the proof of vaccination for medical purposes. We need a common approach to vaccination certificates, and I am looking forward to continuing cooperation with the World Health Organization to scale up this tool at global level. Interoperable vaccination certificates will be an important tool for citizens during the pandemic but also after we have overcome it.” 

The guidelines are the result of the discussions and reflections in the eHealth Network, as well as first consultations with the Health Security Committee, EMA, ECDC and WHO. The guidelines are mostly targeting COVID-19 vaccination but might be used in the future as a basis for proving vaccination status.

Note that leaders of EU member states rejected last week Greece’s proposal for a “vaccination passport,” saying it was premature at this point.

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  1. This is clear proof that politicians are not guided by medical or scientific knowledge, and just do whatever enters their empty little heads. If we want to slow down the spread of the virus (it cannot be stopped, according to the WHO) then we need to know how it is spreading. No EU country is providing acceptable information on that, even when they claim that they know the origin of 75% or so of new “cases”.

    There is no science, no logic: this is 100% politics (along with worries about the economic damage).

  2. Please read the science on how this vaccine work’s. It doesn’t stop you from getting the virus or spreading it. That’s what the pharmaceutical companies have said. Also at the same time it is supposedly mutating so what exactly is a covid passport going to provide? Sounds like a total waste of taxpayers money.

  3. I think the discussion of vaccination certificates tends to conflate two issues: 1 should a vaccination certificate exist and 2 what should the vaccination certificate be used for?

    I don’t see why there should be any contention regarding item 1. If someone has received the vaccine why should they not be entitled to some sort of proof that they have received it? I believe that in Greece vaccination certificates are issued to children who receive vaccinations against childhood illnesses so why not a certificate for COVID vaccinations.

    I can certainly see issues regarding item 2 but those issues should be debated individually and independently of whether to issue a certificate.

    • There is no reason to issue a vaccination certificates if having had the vaccination means very little or nothing. There are many reasons not to issue such certificates. These include (a) it pushes people into accepting the vaccination (unlawful); (b) it discriminates directly against whose who cannot be vaccinated by reason of age or health (also unlawful); (c) it suggests that the holder of a certificate is healthier than those without (totally untrue); it increases state control over individuals’ lives and behaviour (anti-democratic and illegal in some countries)…

      Basically, it one of the more stupid and authoritarian ideas to have emerged in recent years. Greece can be proud that its prime minister is the author of it.

  4. I don’t get it. Why should they ask the tourists to be vaccined if most of the citizens are? If 80% of people in Greece receive a vaccine, who cares if tourists were vaccined???