The Covid-19 pandemic has completely changed our lives – our mobility has become severely restricted – reduced to jogs or walks a few kilometres around our homes. Perhaps less obviously, the lockdown has also affected our experiences of time. Several countries across the globe are ensuring that they don’t allow any fresh coronavirus patient or carrier. Even within India, some states have made it mandatory to produce a negative RT-PCR test or vaccination certificate for entry.
With Covid-19 showing retreat globally, people are starting to travel and this is expected to rise further over the next few months. The pace of vaccination has also helped in easing an almost freeze on passenger movement across international borders.
And if you are planning to travel abroad, you might need a vaccine passport or immunity passport.
What is vaccine passport?
A vaccine passport or immunity passport, which is a documentary proof that the person is vaccinated against the infection. Vaccine passport is fast becoming a requirement for people who wish to start travelling again.
Why should I link my vaccine certificate to my passport?
If you are planning to travel out of India to study, for a job, it is likely that you may be asked for a vaccine certificate linked to your passport, especially at the point of your departure. This would help officials verify that you are leaving India only after having been fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
What are the challenges for India?
At present, India has approved three Covid-19 vaccines — Covishield, Covaxin and Sputnik V. However, Covaxin is not approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and India-made Covishield saw a new obstacle rise in Europe.
In its updated guidelines for Green Pass, the European Union has not included AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine manufactured in India, known as Covishield in the country.
The European Union listed four Covid-19 vaccines which were recognised under Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA). These were — Comirnaty (made by Pfizer-BioNTech), Moderna, Vaxzervria (AstraZeneca-Oxford), Janssen (Johnson & Johnson).
This means travellers vaccinated with Covishield in India may not get European Union’s Green Pass. The European Union, however, said individual countries could grant vaccine passport for any vaccine they find suitable.
Here’s how you can link:
The official Twitter handle of the Aarogya Setu App has shared a step-by-step guide to link passport details with vaccination certificates.
1. Login to http://cowin.gov.in
2. Select ‘Raise a Issue’
3. Select the passport option
4. Select the person from the drop-down menu
5. Enter the passport number
6. Submit. You will then receive the new certificate in seconds.
In another tweet, the Aarogya Setu handle stated that in case an individual’s name on the passport does not match with that on the vaccine certificate, a correction can be made. However, a user can request the correction only once on the Co-WIN portal. “So please ensure there are no mistakes in entering the details,” it added.