Weak signal a problem for digital COVID-19 vax certificates | Inquirer News
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Weak signal a problem for digital COVID-19 vax certificates

VACCINATED A senior citizen of Mandaluyong City shows her vaccination card on Friday. —GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

For local governments, especially those outside Metro Manila, weak internet signal may pose a problem should the national government proceed with its plan to issue digital COVID-19 vaccination certificates.

“QR (quick response) codes may be a problem, especially in checkpoints in boundaries, because not all places have good signal,” Quirino Gov. Dakila Cua, who is also president of the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines, said on Friday.

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The group raised their concern after the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) said it was working on a standardized vaccination digital ID with QR code, as provided under the COVID-19 Vaccination Program Act of 2021.

Under the law, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), “shall develop the [local government]-based digital systems and applications that shall meet the objectives of the COVID-19 vaccination program.”

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Currently, local governments in the country issue physical cards to those inoculated against COVID-19. These vaccination cards vary per local government.

The IATF earlier allowed the presentation of COVID-19 vaccination cards as an alternative to a negative swab test for interzonal travel of fully vaccinated persons.

“We are requesting that the DICT make the validation of vaccination cards simple and fast by those manning checkpoints,” Cua said, noting the need for a unified database readily accessible to all local governments.

Makati City Mayor Abby Binay earlier said the city government put up additional security features in the vaccination cards they issued to prevent them from being counterfeited.

The Makati government applied technology to make the card tamperproof and impossible to replicate.

“The Makati COVID-19 vaccination card has a QR code that establishments and medical facilities can scan to see a person’s vaccination status and for contact tracing purposes,” Binay said.

“For good measure, we added a holographic sticker with a unique code that cannot be replicated or forged. It only becomes visible under blue light,” she added.

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Manila Mayor Franciso Domagoso on Friday also assured the public that the city’s vaccination cards will be hard to fake.

Manila issues vaccinated individuals a digital COVID-19 vaccination ID with details of the vaccine used and a QR code.

The Quezon City government on Friday started affixing tamperproof security seals on the vaccination cards of residents who have completed their shots.

Hologram stickers were affixed and countersigned by a representative on the vaccination cards of some 4,000 individuals who received their second dose in one of six vaccination sites in Quezon City on Friday.

The city said it would add the security seal until the start of the implementation of the centralized vaccination certification system. The City Health Department likewise issues vaccination certificates for work and travel purposes.

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TAGS: COVID-19 Vaccine, digital vaccination card, LGU, signal, vaccination card
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