NHS England STILL doesn’t automatically recognise Covid vaccines dished out in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland
England still doesn’t automatically recognise Covid vaccines dished out in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, MailOnline can reveal.
Complaints were first raised about the issue last summer, when it emerged that jabs administered in other UK nations were not showing on England’s Covid pass.
At the time, health chiefs insisted they would work to ‘align’ data sharing across nations to stop the chaos that resulted in some some people not being recognised as fully vaccinated.
But people who have moved between the countries say their records are still wrong and they are caught in a bureaucratic deadlock trying to fix it.
Experts today called for the problem to be sorted as soon as possible, warning that it could cause chaos for people trying to travel in the future.
Boris Johnson has already hinted that a full three Covid jabs will eventually become the definition of fully vaccinated.
While most countries with vaccine entry requirements currently only require Britons to have had two doses of Covid vaccines, this could change in the future. Returning Brits need to prove they are fully vaccinated to avoid having to quarantine for 10 full days.
Although vaccine passports are currently in force for some events and venues in England, there are plans to lift the requirements over the coming weeks.
But it is unclear if they could make a return if the country was to face another surge in Covid cases.
People who received some of their three Covid jabs in Scotland and who now live in England are stuck in an NHS bureaucratic deadlock with no end in sight
NHS England is advising those affected by the problem to apply to fix it under a NHS website designed for those vaccinated ‘abroad’
Covid is now killing half as many people per day as a bad flu year
Daily Covid deaths are currently running at less than half the rate expected in a bad flu year, MailOnline analysis suggests as experts claim the UK is finally on the brink of beating the pandemic.
There are growing calls for No10 to learn to live with Covid rather than focus on halting the spread of the virus now there is such a big disconnect between infections and deaths.
Right now just 130 people are dying from the coronavirus every day in England at what is believed to be the peak of the Omicron outbreak, compared to 1,300 last January before vaccines were widely available.
Daily deaths have barely moved since the start of autumn, despite infection rates more than quadrupling over the same time following the emergence of the ultra-transmissible variant.
For comparison, Government estimates show there were more than 400 influenza deaths per day at the peak of the last bad flu season in 2017/18, and almost 300 daily fatalities the previous year. Just like this winter, hospitals were forced to cancel routine operations and patients were told to steer clear of A&E units during both of those outbreaks.
Professor Paul Hunter, an infectious disease expert from the University of East Anglia, said the figures showed that the burden of Covid is now comparable to flu. He told MailOnline Covid would ‘almost certainly’ get weaker every year as people develop natural immunity and eventually become a common cold that kills only the very vulnerable further down the line.
‘Once we’re past this Omicron peak — excluding another unexpected variant that reverses all of our progress — then we’ll be close to the point of endemic,’ Professor Hunter added.
It is unclear how many Britons jolted between countries for their Covid jabs.
But the issue could affect thousands of students who’ve left home for university, as well as anyone who may have decided to get a walk-in appointment while away.
MailOnline heard from one couple who were fully vaccinated in Scotland and then moved to England where they have since had their booster jab.
But NHS England records only show them as having one jab, despite having already received two in Scotland.
When they tried to correct their medical records, they were told to apply through an NHS website designed to recognise vaccinations conducted aboard.
They are now extremely worried about if they will be allowed to travel in the future to see their children, who live overseas, or if they will face quarantine restrictions upon their arrival or return.
The NHS website enables people to book a face-to-face appointment at a Covid vaccine centre to amend their vaccine record to reflect jabs they’ve had overseas.
However, the individuals originally jabbed in Scotland have been left in limbo due to a lack of appointments.
And despite being encouraged to ‘check back later’, there is still no time scale for a resolution.
It means until then, they would have to show separate proof of two jabs in Scotland and one in England. The couple fear that may not be enough for some authorities.
They said that they find the situation ‘bewildering’ and can’t understand why the UK ‘struggles to recognise vaccines given in Britain’.
Each of the devolved UK nations have their own Covid digital documents allowing people to prove their vaccination status.
However for people who, due to circumstance or chance, have got Covid jabs in different UK nations it means they can face issues in proving their vaccination status.
Another example reported by The National detailed one case where someone was jabbed in both Wales and England but their vaccination record says they have received a first dose in both nations.
Similar issues have also been reported for university students who got their initial vaccine in Wales and now live in England.
James Lawson, senior fellow of thinktank the Adam Smith Institute, said the failure to recognise jabs delivered in different parts of the UK was ‘completely unacceptable’.
‘The government must allow vaccines from other countries to be recognised instantly, especially if the jabs were provided elsewhere in the UK,’ he said.
‘Vaccine passports are discriminatory and undermine the principle of informed consent.
‘So the fact they’ve been implemented so incompetently only adds further insult to injury. We must avoid a “papers-please” society and forge a path back to normality.’
While other nations do not automatically recognise jabs dished out in England either, the process for correcting the record appears to be much simpler.
In contrast to England’s waiting for a face-to-face appointment Scots vaccinated in south of the border only need to call the location where they received their Covid jab and ensure their Scottish postcode is recorded with the vaccination.
This, Scotland’s NHS Inform says, will enable a person’s vaccination status to be updated within days.
Officials insist there is a daily cross border sharing of information designed to smooth out any vaccination record problems.
When contacted by MailOnline an NHS England spokesperson said: ‘The NHS has established the Vaccination Data Resolution Service to support people with missing or incorrect vaccination records.
‘People who are experiencing issues with their records should contact 119, or call +44 151 905 0119 if they are overseas, where staff are working hard to resolve all issues as quickly and efficiently as possible.’
The Department of Health and Social Care said it was ‘working urgently’ to resolve the issue.
According to the latest Government data, just over 36million Britons have received all three Covid jabs.
This is equivalent to 62 per cent of the over-12 population.
Covid vaccines have been credited with massively reducing the potential severity of the Omicron wave with a MailOnline analysis suggesting daily deaths from the virus are currently running at less than half the rate expected in a bad flu year.