The Vietnam Ministry of Health, the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, and PATH came together for the dissemination workshop of a project to internationalize Vietnam’s COVID-19 vaccine data and certificates.
Hanoi, Vietnam, March 22, 2022—The Vietnam Ministry of Health (MOH), the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), PATH, and implementing partners hosted the dissemination workshop for a six-month collaboration to support the development of Vietnam’s COVID-19 digital vaccination certification. The workshop was attended by the Deputy Minister of the Vietnam MOH, Tran Van Thuan; the British Ambassador to Vietnam, Gareth Ward; and representatives of implementing partners.
The project is funded by the Vaccine Data Co-Lab, a component of the Frontier Technology program and an FCDO-led collaboration supporting actionable solutions that improve data-driven prioritization, allocation, and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. In May 2021, the UK-funded program launched an open call for technical proposals to identify organizations working directly with local and national governments in low- and middle-income countries to ensure sustained capacity for vaccine deployment. PATH was the first organization to receive a grant from the Vaccine Data Co-Lab.
Under this project, Vaccine Data Co-Lab and PATH supported the Vietnam MOH to align Vietnam’s vaccination certificate system with the World Health Organization’s, European Union’s, and United Kingdom’s standards to open up travel for citizens and international travelers from around the world and especially these regions. Specifically, PATH worked with the General Department of Preventive Medicine and Electronic Health Administration, Vietnam MOH, as well as the Viettel Business Solutions Corporation to standardize data elements and data types; provide technical assistance to implement and enhance system performance; provide support in developing COVID-19 digital certificates on existing electronic health record applications to include printable and electronic certificates, compatibility for domestic travel, and linkages to global COVID-19 vaccine data; and develop a video package of promotional materials and self-training videos for health workers and users to navigate the certificate.
As the vaccine rollout is further along and vaccine supply has increased, Vietnam has been engaging in the next phase of work to recover socioeconomic activities. The government has announced that the country will reopen international tourism on March 15, 2022. To prepare for the reopening, Vietnam has been working on establishing the country’s COVID-19 digital vaccination certificate since late 2021. The certificate carries personal and vaccination information encrypted and presented through a QR code that expires after 12 months. By January 2022, Vietnam had accepted vaccine passports from 79 countries and territories. This project, which helped align Vietnam’s certificate system and vaccination data with international standards, contributed to the acceptance of Vietnam’s COVID-19 vaccination certificate by 14 countries, including the United Kingdom.
Speaking at the workshop, Deputy Minister Tran Van Thuan discussed the importance of this initiative: “COVID-19 significantly accelerated the shift to information technology for a multitude of functions such as the collection of data for disease prevention. This global moment is an opportunity to explore how innovative approaches taken during this time can accelerate shifts toward more responsive, digitalized systems and services as the world enters the new normal.”
British Ambassador Gareth Ward said, “The UK is very pleased to support PATH’s and the Vietnam MOH’s work on Vietnam’s COVID-19 vaccine certificate system. The project has demonstrated how a partnership between public sector, private sector, and civil society can bring good results. This is also a big step forward in Vietnam’s digital transition, providing data transparency and allowing data-driven policymaking.”
Prior to this project, PATH had collaborated with government agencies and international partners to develop and roll out COVID-19 vaccines, enhance electronic disease surveillance and reporting systems, and assess and address gaps in medical oxygen access and respiratory care during the pandemic and beyond.
About PATH’s global response to COVID-19
As COVID-19 spreads around the world, PATH is partnering with governments to lessen its impact by establishing emergency operations centers; advising on testing, treating, and managing the outbreak; and standing up digital and data systems that support real-time disease surveillance. Click here for more about how we are responding to COVID-19.
About the General Department of Preventive Medicine, Vietnam Ministry of Health
The General Department of Preventive Medicine is a specialized department of the Ministry of Health, assisting the Minister of Health to implement state management functions and organize the implementation of legal regulations in the field of preventive medicine nationwide. Such assistance includes prevention and control of communicable diseases and emerging diseases; prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases; community nutrition; border health quarantine; primary health care and community health promotion; use of vaccines and biomedical products; preventive medicine–related tests and biosafety in laboratory testing; and state management of public services. Click here for more information about the General Department of Preventive Medicine.
About the Electronic Health Administration, Vietnam Ministry of Health
The Electronic Health Administration is a specialized management agency under the Ministry of Health with the function of advising and assisting the Minister of Health in performing the state management of information technology development and application in the health sector (referred to as electronic health) as well as applying information technology in the health sector nationwide. Click here for more information about the Electronic Health Administration, Ministry of Health.
About COVIDaction Vaccine Data Co-Lab
The Vaccine Data Co-Lab, a component of the Frontier Technology program, is an FCDO-led collaboration supporting actionable solutions that improve data-driven prioritization, allocation, and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. This work builds on the success of the Data Challenge for COVIDaction, which was launched at the beginning of the pandemic. COVIDaction invested in and supports a portfolio of tools that address COVID-19 data needs for ministries of health, national statistics offices, and others to provide evidence-driven policy decisions. As COVID-19 efforts shifted from detection and prevention to vaccine distribution, COVIDaction worked with COVAX GIS Working Group to launch the Vaccine Data Co-Lab to support low- and middle-income country decision-makers with tools required for equitable, transparent, and efficient vaccine delivery. To view that call and learn more about the outcomes, visit https://medium.com/covidaction/data/home.