Less than a quarter of double vaccinated New Zealanders eligible for vaccine certificates have signed up to My Covid Record, the online platform that will issue the certificates this month.
The ministry of health told BusinessDesk that as of 11am on Tuesday Nov 9, 772,000 people had signed up to My Covid Record, a service currently available to those aged 16 and over.
Ministry of health data shows at least 3.16 million people aged 16 and over have been double jabbed, meaning only about 24% of fully vaccinated New Zealanders who can currently sign up to the vaccine certificate system are ready to receive them.
Eventually anyone over 12 will need to provide proof of vaccination to enter venues that require it. The ministry website says people aged 12 and over will be able to create a My Covid Record account “from mid-November”.
Vaccine certificates will become part of daily life for vaccinated New Zealanders who will have to use them to be able to enter restaurants, cafes, gyms, and other participating retail stores.
International vaccine certificates will also be issued for use by New Zealanders overseas.
My Covid Record will issue people with a My Vaccine Pass, with a QR code proving vaccination that can be stored on a smartphone or printed on paper and presented upon entry to businesses and venues.
Certificates will come into domestic use when regions move to the new covid-19 protection framework and its traffic light alert system.
Cabinet is reviewing this move on Nov 29, and it relies on DHBs reaching 90% of eligible people vaccinated.
The covid-19 vaccine is available to anyone in NZ aged 12 and over. As of 11:59pm on Nov 9, 79% of this eligible group was double vaccinated according to ministry data.
Some people without NZ ID have found it difficult to sign up for the service in level 3 lockdown.
New Zealanders aged 16 and over have been sent emails from the ministry titled ‘My Covid Record is here’ to encourage sign ups to the system.
“The Ministry is sending these to everyone who is double vaccinated, over the age of 16, and who told us their preferred contact was email or text when they booked on Book My Vaccine,” Michael Dreyer, the Ministry of Health’s group manager national digital services said.
“The email addresses are provided by people when they have made a booking, or from the national enrolment service where people have provided contact details to their health provider.”
The emails also do not state My Covid Record is how vaccine certificates will be distributed.
The process is confusing. People must sign up to My Covid Record by creating a My Health account, to eventually be issued a My Vaccine Pass.
Dreyer said it was important people sign up early to My Covid Record so they can easily request a My Vaccine Pass when they become available.
Though QR codes will be able to be printed on paper for those without a smartphone, those people will still need to be signed up to My Covid Record online.
For people without a smartphone or internet, Dreyer said there will be an 0800 number to call.
“The call agent will check their identity, or whom they are requesting for, and their preference of receiving their pass. We can send passes via email or post to those calling.”
Though people will now have to present personal QR codes to venue and business staff who will scan them with a free ministry-provided app, Dreyer still encouraged people to themselves scan in with the NZ covid tracer app.
“The requirement to show vaccination status is separate to the record keeping requirement and keeping a digital diary, so both vaccination passes and NZ covid tracer will work separately, for different purposes.”
Additional reporting by Andy Fyers