The Ministry of Health and Population (MOHP) has said that 69 per cent of Nepal’s population has been fully vaccinated against Covid while 77 per cent has received at least one jab of the vaccine. Upon vaccination, individuals receive a Covid vaccine card that records their details and information about the vaccine.
Although an official at the vaccination centre signs the card, it does not function as an authenticated proof of vaccination, especially when travelling abroad. Travellers need to obtain a digitally signed Covid vaccine certificate provided by the Government of Nepal to prove that they have received the full dose of the Covid vaccines.
But, what exactly is a Covid vaccine certificate with a QR code, and how do you obtain it?
Let’s find out.
A Covid vaccine certificate with a code
QR is an acronym for the square-shaped, pixelated codes that store information such as web addresses, app download links and bank account details. The arrangement of the code varies according to the data stored in it. A QR code can easily be scanned with a smartphone, using scanning software or application. Most smartphones these days come with built-in QR code scanners and apps.
It is the same widely used technology that the Government of Nepal has adopted to issue Covid vaccine certificates to facilitate storing and accessing information about the vaccination.
Upon vaccination, beneficiaries receive a card that mentions their details and information about the Covid vaccine they received. Once fully vaccinated, the beneficiaries can apply for a digital certificate with a QR code. The ministry and local health units must provide such credentials upon request. As per Dr Rudra Prasad Marasini, the chief of the Management Division at the ministry, the QR code certificate encompasses “information about full-dose vaccination that is stored digitally in a QR code that can be scanned all over the world.”
Why do you need it?
The Covid vaccine certificate with a QR code is proof that the person has received a full dose of vaccine against Covid. This certificate is verified by officials of the Department of Health Services under the MOHP and the health units of the concerned local government.
The QR code directs to the MOHP website, which, in turn, reveals information about the beneficiary, the vaccine, and the date of vaccination.
How can you obtain it?
To be eligible to apply for a Covid vaccine certificate with a QR code, beneficiaries must first receive a full dose of a vaccine against Covid. Once they receive a physical card, they can apply online for a QR code through https://vaccine.mohp.gov.np/public-request-form.
The form prompts beneficiaries to furnish the vaccine’s name and batch number. It also asks them to provide details about the date and location of vaccination.
Upon furnishing these details, beneficiaries need to upload the following documents.
- Citizenship certificate/passport
- Passport-size photo
- Covid vaccine card
The beneficiaries receive a registration number (0000-000000-0000Y) after applying.
If the names of the local government, vaccination centre or stamp are illegible on the card, beneficiaries need to approach the vaccination centre. Illegible documents lead to the rejection of the application for Covid vaccine certificates with QR codes.
Can you apply for it offline?
The easiest way to receive a Covid vaccine certificate with a QR code is to apply online. However, if the beneficiaries are not in a position to apply online, they can submit a printed form along with required documents to a concerned local government or the Department of Health Services, says Dr Marasini. These institutions then scan and upload the form to the system.
How long does it take to obtain it?
The government’s policy is to provide the code to applicants immediately, but a heavy workload means it takes from 72 hours to seven days to verify and release the code, says Dr Marasini. However, applicants can contact the local government or the department if they are in a hurry.
To receive their Covid vaccine certificate, applicants can log on to https://vaccine.mohp.gov.np/verify-status. Upon furnishing the registration number, they can download their vaccine certificate. They can also download it from the Nagarik app.
Do you need it for domestic travel?
No, you do not need it for domestic travel, according to Yog Raj Sharma Kandel, the spokesperson of the Airlines Operators Association. “Passengers must show a vaccination card provided by the vaccination centre for domestic air travel. But, a QR code isn’t required,” he tells South Asia Check.
How much does it cost?
It is a free service provided by the Government of Nepal. This means that beneficiaries are not required to pay any money at any stage of the application process.
A step-by-step guide to the application process
This post first appeared on South Asia Check.