EXPLAINER: What is VaxCertPH? A guide for the vaccinated
MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT) has finished programming a system needed for VaxCertPH, a vaccination certificate portal which the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) said would soon be launched in the regions.
Here are some things you need to know about the VaxCertPH:
What is VaxCertPH?
VaxCertPH serves as the country’s vaccine certificate system under the DICT and Department of Health (DOH).
According to DICT Undersecretary Emmanuel Rey Caintic, the digital vaccine certificates complies with the digital guidelines issued by the World Health Organization (WHO).
It aims to represent the certificate holder’s vaccination status. Currently, the system covers only fully vaccinated individuals.
It is free and can be accessed through the VaxCertPH portal. To ensure security, VaxCertPH utilizes private and public-key cryptography.
The program also aims to provide Filipinos going abroad with some sort of a vaccine passport that will be recognized in foreign jurisdictions.
“VaxCertPH to be implemented in concurrence with the Yellow Card,” said Caintic.
“Currently, the BOQ (Bureau of Quarantine)-issued Yellow Card is recognized as an interim COVID-19 Vaccination Status mechanism for international travel while the new WHO Digital Certificate standard is being adopted worldwide,” Caintic said.
“It is important for international travelers to check with the port of destination on what proof of vaccination status will be required and accepted,” he added.
However, Caintic clarified that the vaccine certificate issued through VaxCertPH is not an immunization passport.
It is also not proof of identification, meaning it can not replace the PhilSys ID issued by the national government.
More importantly, it is not considered as a replacement to the Yellow Card “for other kinds of vaccine (e.g., yellow fever, cholera, typhoid, etc.)”
What’s in the certificate?
The digital vaccine certificate issued by the VaxCertPH should include the following details:
- Quick Response (QR) code for vaccination certificate — which according to Caintic must match data in the Vaccination Information Management System (VIMS).
- Personal details — which include the vaccine recipient’s full name, date of birth, and sexual orientation.
- Issuance details — such as the name of issuing office as well as the date and time of issuance.
- Certificate ID number — a unique nine-digit number.
The certificate should also indicate information regarding the vaccine received by the owner of the certificate. These include:
- Dose number — which represents the number of doses administered to the certificate holder.
- Vaccination date — which shows when the certificate holder received his or her first and/or second dose of vaccine against COVID-19.
- Vaccine or Prophylaxis type — which details the type of vaccine administered to the certificate holder (COVID-19 vaccine, RNA-based, viral vector-based).
- Brand and manufacturer — which include the brand or trade name used to refer to vaccine (BNT162b2, mRNA-1273, JNJ-78436735) and name of vaccine’s manufacturer (Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, Sinovac, Sinopharm).
- Lot number for vaccination — which shows the batch number or lot number of the vaccine administered.
- Country of vaccination — which represents the country where the certificate holder received his or her vaccine doses.
Who can get it?
Individuals who have been fully vaccinated against SARS Cov2, the virus that causes COVID-19, can get their digital vaccination certificates through the VaxCertPH portal.
However, it is currently not yet open to the general public.
In a soft launch in Metro Manila and Baguio City, vaccination certificates were issued to overseas Filipino workers and Filipinos in Metro Manila who will travel abroad.
According to Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) spokesperson Jonathan Malaya, the government is planning to launch it soon in Central Luzon, CALABARZON (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon), MIMAROPA (Marinduque, Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Romblon, and Palawan), Metro Cebu, and Metro Davao.
How to register
Those who are fully vaccinated can get their Digital Vaccination Certificate (DVC) through the VaxCertPh portal at https://vaxcert.doh.gov.ph and follow these steps:
- Once you access the portal, you can choose between the following: (1) click continue to request a vaccination certificate or (2) click the scan button to verify a COVID-18 vaccination Certificate QR code.
- You will be asked to review and accept the data privacy statement.
- Next, you will need to answer questions about your vaccination status and if you are traveling abroad. It should also be noted that the certificate generated by VaxCertPH is valid 14 days after the final vaccination date.
- Enter your personal details including your last name, full name, middle name, suffix, and date of birth. The details you encode must match the details on your vaccination card.
- Provide further information on your vaccination details by answering some questions such as where and when you received your first and second dose of vaccine.
- Review your given information and enter the seven characters shown on the screen. The program will then verify the vaccination details you provided.
- In case there is no record found, you can upload your vaccination card and valid ID and give your e-mail address and contact number.
- Once the system found your record, you can finally get a copy of your DVC. You may download, print, or take a screenshot of the QR code included in the certificate.
Caintic also explained the process of getting DVC through VaxCertPH based on three different scenarios:
Process for those who are fully vaccinated with correct details in the VIMS
Process for those who are fully vaccinated with incorrect details in the VIMS records
Process for those who are fully vaccinated without records in VIMS
To use DVC-issued VaxCertPH for travel by people who are fully vaccinated, the certificate holder must do the following:
- Step 1: Bring the DVC with QR code (digital or printed) together with the required travel documents (such as passport, visa, government ID, etc.) for international and domestic travel.
- Step 2: Present the required travel documents and the DVC to travel authorities.
To digitally store the certificate in mobile phones or gadgets, the certificate holder can either scan the DVC and save it, take a screenshot of the printed form, or save the DVC as PDF.
“Once stored on mobile phone, the following information (as defined in WHO Digital Documentation of COVID guidelines) are verifiable: (1) DVC Person’s full name, (2) Person’s birthdate, (3) Vaccination details (date,etc.),” Caintic explained.
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