Health Desk – 05 June, 2021: During the seventh meeting of the International Health Regulations (IHR) Emergency Committee regarding the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic on 15th April 2021, the Emergency Committee’s advice to the WHO secretariat stated that the WHO secretariat should:
Continue to update the WHO interim position on the considerations regarding requirements of proof of vaccination and to produce interim guidance and tools related to standardization of paper and digital documentation of COVID-19 travel-related risk reduction measures (vaccination status, SARS-CoV-2 testing and COVID-19 recovery status) in the context of international travel.
Given this recommendation from the IHR Emergency Committee meeting, the Smart Vaccination Certificate Secretariat has expanded the scope of the initiative to develop guidance that includes SARS-CoV-2 testing and COVID-19 recovery status. Accordingly, the Smart Vaccination Certificate specification will be renamed as the “Digital Documentation of COVID-19 Certificates (DDCC)” specification. The resulting guidance will be published in a series of three separate documents, which will guide Member States on how to digitally document COVID-19 vaccination status, SARS-CoV-2 test results, and COVID-19 recovery status. These guidance documents will include critical components such as the minimum datasets, expected functionality of digital systems, and preferred terminology code systems. They will also include a section on national digital architecture, recognizing that Member States are still expected to decide how they want to implement these systems. The DDCC specifications will include an HL7 FHIR Implementation Guide (IG), including example software implementations.