People who are fully inoculated and want to travel abroad will have a CoWin certificate with their full date of birth, official sources said on Saturday amid ongoing discussions between India and the UK over Covid vaccination certificates.
Currently, CoWin certificates mention the beneficiary's age based on the year of birth besides other details.
The new feature is being introduced in compliance with the WHO norms and likely to be available from next week.
"It has been decided that a new feature will be added to the CoWin under which those who are fully vaccinated and want to travel abroad will have full date of birth on their vaccination certificates," an official source said.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
The UK on Wednesday had amended its new travel guidelines to include the Indian-made version of the AstraZeneca vaccine in its updated list of approved COVID-19 vaccines.
Following India's strong criticism over the UK's refusal to recognise Covishield, London has included the vaccine in its updated international travel advisory.
However, Indian travellers vaccinated with two doses of Covishield would still have to undergo 10 days of quarantine in the UK notwithstanding the amendment, UK officials had clarified on Wednesday saying the inclusion of the vaccine would not make much of a difference.
"We're clear Covishield is not a problem. The UK is open to travel and we're already seeing a lot of people going from India to the UK, be it tourists, business people or students," British High Commissioner Alex Ellis had said in a statement on Wednesday."We have been having detailed technical discussions regarding certification, with the builders of the CoWin app and the NHS app, about both apps. They're happening at a rapid pace, to ensure that both countries mutually recognise the vaccine certificates issued by each other," he had said.