Monday, 6 Dec 2021

Covid-19 Delta outbreak: Foreign nationals in NZ baffled by My Vaccine Pass site – Ministry offers workaround

A number of foreign nationals living in New Zealand have told the Herald they’ve been baffled by the My Covid Record site, where My Vaccine Pass registrations are taken.

Anyone over 12 in New Zealand is eligible to receive a Vaccine Pass, regardless of their immigration status.

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  • Does it matter you can easily edit your own Vaccine Pass?

But you must first confirm your identity.

And the site only offers New Zealand and Australian options for doing so.

Specifically, applicants are asked to supply a New Zealand driver’s licence, passport, birth certificate or citizenship certificate, or an Australian passport or birth certificate.

One reader, who supplied their contact details to the Herald but requested anonymity, said: “My wife who’s American but an NZ resident can’t access the My Vaccine Pass as she has none of the ID required such as an NZ passport or driver’s license. This is despite having a RealMe account and an NHI number and being vaccinated. She can’t even request a letter.”

He continued: “It’s crazy. Especially as lots of foreign nationals work in the hospitality industry. Another rushed job. Bloody hopeless.”

A Ministry of Health spokesperson told the Herald that foreign nationals who could not complete the My Vaccine Pass process online could phone the ministry on 0800 222 478 to get one arranged.

The Herald tried the 0800 number multiple times this morning but was met with an engaged signal, and no message, each time.

The American resident did get through and a Vaccine Pass was sent to her, but only on her second attempt after her first call was cut off.

The ministry said over the weekend that more than 1 million My Vaccine Passes have now been issued. Some 4.3 million are eligible to receive the document, which will be required to enter various venues once the nation switches to the traffic light system. A decision on when NZ will shift to the new system is expected on November 29 – and it is now expected to kick into effect within days of that date.

“Anyone who has been vaccinated In New Zealand can get a My Vaccine Pass regardless of their immigration status,” the Ministry of Health spokesperson told the Herald.

“If people don’t have any of the six accepted identification options or a RealMe account for My Covid Record they can call 0800 222 478 for themselves, or someone else they have permission to call on behalf of, to request a My Vaccine Pass or International Travel vaccination certificate.

“This will ensure those who are fully vaccinated in New Zealand but don’t have one of the accepted forms of identification can still get their vaccination pass or international travel vaccination certificate.

“Our 0800 channel to support those without access to technology to get their passes is experiencing steady load and coping well.

“People are asked to be patient – My Vaccine Pass will not be needed until we move to the Covid -9 Protection Framework.

For those returning to NZ

For those people who live overseas but are returning to New Zealand and would like to apply to have their vaccines registered in New Zealand, the Ministry of Health now has an application process in place, the MoH spokesperson said.

Information is available on the Ministry’s website here.”

“Those who have met the criteria outlined online will then be able to request a My Vaccine Pass for domestic use in New Zealand when they arrive.

“They can apply for this before they arrive in New Zealand once their records are loaded and if they meet the requirements.”

More recognised from Nov 29

Currently, My Vaccine Passes are being generated only for those people who have received two doses of the Pfizer vaccine in New Zealand, the spokesperson said.

On November 29 the rules will be updated so that those who meet the criteria for an overseas vaccine that is recognised as “fully vaccinated” in New Zealand will be able to request one.

There are eight vaccines approved by the Covid Vaccination Technical Advisor Group to get a My Vaccine Pass. These are:

&bulll Pfizer/BioNTech
&bulll Janssen (Johnson and Johnson)
&bulll AstraZeneca (Oxford)
&bulll AstraZeneca/Covishield (Serum Institute of India)
&bulll Moderna
&bulll Sinopharm
&bulll Sinovac (CoronaVac)
&bulll Covaxin (Bharat Biotech).

The Ministry of Health blamed two factors for problems with the My Covid Record site when it went live last week – a cyber defence system that mistook a surge in genuine visitors for bots executing a DDoS attack, and problems with a Microsoft Azure-based system used in the verification process. The ministry said there were no issues with another technology partner, Amazon Web Services.


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