World Health Organization Issues Guidance on Documenting and Tracking COVID-19 Vaccination Certificates

August 11, 2021

The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued guidance on documentation of COVID-19 vaccination certificates. Among other items, the guidance outlines ethical and data protection considerations, different use scenarios, and procedures for use and verification. Critically, the guidelines emphasize that emergency circumstances do not permit authorities to ignore legal obligations relating to privacy and human rights. The guidelines also mandate data protection safeguards and warn against normalizing surveillance of health information. EPIC has previously recommended that public health responses to the pandemic be consistent with privacy and human rights standards and urged authorities to limit unnecessary collection and use of vaccine-related personal data by third parties, including pharmacies.

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