Any Universal Vaccination Passport solution will need to have both a digital and physical element or it will not be fully accessible according to Martin Ruda, Group MD at the TALL Group of Companies.

His warnings follow the announcement of a number of trials of domestic and international digital solutions which are mainly focussed on proprietary apps and smart phone technology.

Martin explains: “The key to having a Universal Passport Solution is that is can be used by everyone, everywhere. Existing solutions being put forward all rely on countries having digitised medical records, which many do not, and require the vaccine certificate to be accessed on a smart phone that not everyone has. Little thought has gone into having a secure physical document beyond the use of a QR code which will work equally well, if robustly encrypted, on a secure document as well as a mobile phone screen.”

“A successful solution will need to provide secure connectivity to a tangible, and universally accepted, document that is verified against the core authorities’ data, in our case the NHS.”

His comments come as concerns are being raised in Israel, who has almost completed its vaccination programme, about the ease of getting a forged vaccine certificate. According to media reports a black market for counterfeit vaccination certificate is already thriving on Telegram, where more than 100,000 users have joined groups that offer the forgeries at a price. 

However, Martin is confident that the technology needed for a strong physical solution for this already exists.

“Concerns around fraudulent documentation in developing countries is commonplace, one example being the risks perceived around the forging and counterfeiting of ballot papers in national and local elections. Our secure printing solutions support the requirements of the Ugandan government to address this, and closer to home the use of encrypted QR codes protect the UK’s cheque payments industry in its move from paper to digital cheque clearing. This technology can readily be used to create a small physical vaccine passport that immutably supports and integrates with a digital solution which we have the capability to deliver.

“Our strategic partnership with Digital Cognate has helped us solve the issues regarding interoperability, integration and absolute trust in the digital source, as a result we are hoping to get a place at the table to discuss this with UK government and urge them not to try and reinvent the wheel. We have developed the necessary technology and it is tried and tested!”


By Brian