<p>Jab journeys: Boosters are not yet shown on the NHS app</p>

Jab journeys: Boosters are not yet shown on the NHS app

Travellers left anxious as no date confirmed for when booster jab will be added to NHS Pass

The delay could affect Brits travelling to France next month

Simon Calder
Travel Correspondent
Tuesday 16 November 2021 10:03

As countries impose demands for travellers to show proof of a booster jab, the health secretary has told Parliament “we will do something about it”.

But Sajid Javid declined to say what he planned, nor when it might take effect.

The Independent revealed earlier this month that countries including Austria and Israel are now requesting proof of boosters for arrivals who were originally vaccinated many months ago.

Since then, France has indicated that proof of a booster will be required for over-65s to access many venues from 15 December.

A fellow Conservative MP, Greg Clark, asked Mr Javid: “When will the NHS certification app be updated to record third doses, given that some countries require that for admission purposes?”

The health secretary replied: “I recognise that this is now a requirement in some countries, and I think it important that we respond.

“I want to reassure my right honourable friend, and other members, that we are considering how best to make such information available, and I will have more to say about that shortly.”

Mark and Patricia Poulter contacted The Independent to say: “We were planning to visit family in France after 15 December.

“Mr Macron announced last week that the pass sanitaire for over-65s needs to include the booster jab from mid-December.

“We have both had our booster but have no evidence other than the little card given at the vaccination centre.

“My GP surgery advises that NHS are working on adding the booster to the UK Covid pass but do not know when that will be.”

Sources have told The Independent that there are IT problems involved in showing boosters on the NHS app. Mr Javid has rejected these assertions.

The senior Labour MP, Ben Bradshaw, asked the health secretary: “Why did he not foresee the problem with the app? Why was it so complicated to add the booster jab to the app automatically?”

Mr Javid responded: “I know the right honourable gentleman likes to create problems where they do not exist, but we should not always let him get away with it.

“There is no problem with the app. If he had listened to me carefully, he would know as well as anyone that proof of a third jab, whether a booster or as part of a person’s primary dose, is not necessary for UK domestic purposes.

“As I said earlier, we fully understand and recognise that it might be needed for international travel or other international purposes, which is why we will do something about it.”

Mr Bradshaw also asked the health secretary: “Will he also address the problem of under-16-year-olds?

“They cannot access their vaccine records at all. Many families will be booking trips to visit loved ones over Christmas and those plans could be ruined by these two shortcomings in his Covid policy.”

Mr Javid declined to respond to the issue of vaccination records for younger travellers.

Later, Mr Bradshaw tweeted: “The health secretary was completely clueless about the problems with the NHS app not showing your Covid-19 booster jab and under-16s not being able to access proof of vaccine at all.”

In response, Julia Lo Bue-Said, chief executive of the Advantage Travel Partnership, wrote: “And this is one reason amongst many why the travel trade in the UK is unable to trade normally – despite people now traveling internationally.

“Many barriers still exist that [are] in the government’s gift to resolve.”

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