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Immunisation statement can be used as vaccination proof


Jolyon Attwooll


26/08/2021 3:29:18 PM

People who have received two doses of different COVID vaccines can use the statement until they are able to access the COVID-19 digital certificate.

A person accessing their IHS on a tablet.
The DoH has advised individuals that have received a mixed dose schedule can use their Immunisation History Statement as proof of vaccination.

People caught in vaccine limbo due to having doses of different COVID-19 vaccines can use their Immunisation History Statement to prove their vaccination, according to the Department of Health (DoH).
 
Those who have had to switch vaccine brands after their first injection – for clinical or availability reasons, for example – have so far been unable to access the Federal Government’s COVID-19 digital certificate, despite having received two vaccine doses.
 
Currently the certificate system does not recognise those who have had doses of two different vaccines, but the DoH has said it is working towards a permanent solution to the problem with Services Australia, which administers the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) under the auspices of Medicare.
 
‘In the interim, individuals that have received a mixed dose schedule can use their Immunisation History Statement [IHS] as proof of vaccination,’ a DoH spokesperson told newsGP.
 
‘The IHS displays all vaccinations, including COVID-19, that an individual has had that have been reported to the AIR.
 
‘Such individuals are able to use their IHS as proof of vaccination until access to a COVID-19 digital certificate is enabled for clinically approved mixed dose schedules.’
 
Services Australia has also said it is receiving ‘a lot’ of inquiries on the subject and that it is expecting a solution to the problem soon – although no exact timeframe had been released by any Government department at the time of publication.
 
Dr Judit Gonczi, a GP in Parramatta in Greater Western Sydney, told newsGP that she is still ‘very much awaiting the resolution’ of the digital certificate issue.
 
She realised the gap in the system last month when the digital certificate was not approved for her 73-year-old husband despite being fully vaccinated.
 
He had received the AstraZeneca vaccine in early April and a dose of Pfizer in July after the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) advised in May that Pfizer should be administered to anyone with a past history of recurrent thrombosis related to antiphospholipid syndrome, which Dr Gonczi’s husband has previously been treated for.
 
The COVID-19 Digital Certificate, designed as official proof of full vaccination, was launched this June. While showing evidence of vaccination status is not currently widely required in Australia, that could change, with more freedoms likely to be granted to those who can prove they are fully vaccinated.
 
On Thursday the NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced there will be fewer outdoor restrictions from mid-September for those who could prove their vaccination status.
 
The certificate, usually generated automatically for people once their second dose is administered and uploaded to the AIR, is available on the Express Plus Medicare app and can also be downloaded to a smartphone.
 
All COVID-19 vaccinations conducted since 20 February this year legally have to be added to the AIR within 24 hours of administration if possible or otherwise within 10 business days.
 
At the moment, ATAGI recommends the same COVID-19 vaccine be used for both doses of the initial vaccination program unless there are specific contraindications at play.
 
The DoH has said mixed doses may also be necessary for returned travellers who have had an initial vaccine dose overseas but do not have access to the same vaccine brand in Australia.
 
Research has indicated mixed dose vaccination can be effective in some circumstances but there is currently no official approval of the approach.
 
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Dr Thomas Hilliar   27/08/2021 3:35:25 PM

There is probably only one type of proof of vaccination should be recognised.
And this isn't one of them.

Anyone who has seen the New South Wales digital driver's licence by using the service New South Wales app will know that this is one of the only ways to do it since it is very hard to make a fake image.

The background changes constantly as the phone is moved to show that it is a "real document" and not just an edited snapshot.

With so many bonuses and incentives for people who are fully vaccinated (and currently less than 15% with first dose in many ages such as 20's, 30's and 40's in many regional areas) a lot of people who can't be bothered or don't want to will simply change the name on the document or get a picture of it from their mates.

Call me a sceptic but I promise you we will see tons of this 'vaccine evidence fraud' in the coming months. We should nip it in the bud now and put it in an app with a 'live background' like the Service NSW driver license app and move on.