Vietnam ready to issue vaccine passports

HANOI, 7 April 2022: Vietnam’s health ministry confirmed this week that it will start issuing vaccine passports as of 15 April, claiming the country is now the sixth-highest for vaccine cover worldwide.

Whether it is the sixth or the 10th highest depends on the data source. World in Data statistics placed the country 10th in its latest chart this week, clearly confirming Vietnam is a top performer in the bid to vaccinate an entire population.

According to the Vietnam Government Portal, Deputy Minister of Health Tran Van Thuan said as of 1 April, the country had administered over 206 million vaccine doses ensuring  99% of adults received two jabs and 50% the third. This month, children under 12 to 5 years old will be vaccinated against Covid-19.

So far, 17 countries accept Vietnam’s vaccine passports, which will be used in conjunction with other personal identification documents such as ID cards to facilitate smooth travels. 

The passport will be accessible on two apps PC Covid-19 or Digital Health. If people don’t have the apps, they can obtain vaccine passports through the health ministry website once they have imputed ID information.

Adoption of the vaccine passports has been piloted since late March for around 1,000 residents of Hanoi who received their jabs at one of the city’s three major hospitals. In Ho Chi Minh City, vaccine passports have already been trialled for those vaccinated at Gia An 115 General Hospital.

Last month the country reached an agreement on the mutual recognition of “vaccine passports” with 17 countries, namely the US, the UK, Japan, Australia, Belarus, India, Cambodia, the Philippines, Maldives, Palestine, Turkey, Egypt, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, Singapore, Saint Lucia, and the Republic of Korea.

Last February, YouGov attempted to identify which countries had the highest levels of support for vaccine passports.

Out of 26 countries surveyed, Australia had the highest average support for vaccine passports across nine scenarios where vaccine passports might be required. Australian support for making it compulsory to show a vaccination certificate ranged from half (50%) who would support vaccine passports for clothes shops to 75% who support vaccine passports for travelling to or from Australia. Australia is only just about to open up its borders to fully vaccinated travellers after implementing strict travel restrictions for two years of Covid-19.

Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Mexico and Brazil all also had high average support for vaccine passports across the nine settings.

At the other end of the scale, Poland, Hungary and Russia all had less than 40% average support for vaccine passports.

In terms of other places where vaccine passports could conceivably be introduced (or are already being used in some countries), there is high average support (56%) across the countries surveyed for requiring people to show a vaccination passport to attend large public events, like sporting matches or concerts.

The UK introduced this policy in England in December last year, requiring attendees of large events to show their Covid pass in order to enter, but lifted it soon afterwards.

The introduction of vaccine passports for doing indoor exercise at a gym (50% average support across 26 countries), eating in restaurants (47% average), going to bars or cafes (47% average) or travelling on public transport (46% average) had middling support while shopping in supermarkets and in clothes shops were at the bottom of our list, both with 41% average support.

(Source: VGP, YouGov research, World in Data)