Vaccination certificates are likely to be issued to people without a person needing any actual proof that they have been vaccinated.
And the certificates themselves could be ready for misuse, because no ID is needed for the proposed system and people didn’t have to provide ID when getting their inoculation.
Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said venues could request identification along with a vaccine passport to mitigate the risk.
A source within the Health Ministry told RNZ that the vaccine certificate application that is being developed has a number of flaws.
The key issue is that a person with a certificate will not have offered any proof that the Pfizer vaccine was actually administered.
“As proof of vaccination becomes more and more mandatory, anti-vaccines will come under increasing pressure to obtain vaccination certificates to keep their jobs, travel and participate in public events,” they said.
“This will provide a motivation for fraud: an anti-vaccine could easily book an appointment for the vaccine and pay someone to receive it on their behalf, for example.”
They said there is no evidence of fraud, but there is nothing to stop it either.
“As the system currently operates, there is no ability to detect, monitor or prevent such abuse, and there is no way to prove that you have actually been vaccinated.”
“It is a problem that cannot be solved retrospectively.”
The manager of the national digital services group of the Ministry of Health, Michael Dreyer, said that no decisions have been made about the domestic use of a vaccine certificate.
“The government is still considering advice on the use of vaccination certificates at the national level as a way to allow large events to take place. However, no decisions have been made at this stage.”
When asked if a person can prove, without question, that they have been vaccinated before receiving a certificate, Dreyer said it is something he is working on.
He said that all Covid vaccines are listed in the National Covid-19 Immunization Registry, but the Health Ministry source told RNZ that there is no guarantee that the registry is accurate.
“When you show up for a Covid vaccine, you are not asked for proof of identity, not even to show the text message with your reservation reference; you are simply asked to verbally state your name and date of birth,” they said. .
“By virtue of showing up at your designated appointment time, it is assumed that you are the person for whom the reservation was made.”
Dreyer said the information for vaccination certificates will be obtained from the Covid-19 Immunization Registry.
Chris Hipkins said it will be left to venues to enforce the rules that are established.
“The vaccine certificate will have a person’s name, the ability to check it against the database to make sure it is an authentic vaccine certificate using QR code technology,” Hipkins said.
“The person who reviews it will be able to scan the QR code and compare the name with the name that is in the database for that QR code, if that makes sense.”
There will be no proof of identity feature on the vaccine certificate, but Hipkins has a workaround.
“Of course, it would be wise to check that someone’s name is actually their name.
“They can ask for some other identification for that purpose.”
That process still would not prove, without a doubt, that the person actually received a vaccine.
The My Covid Record vaccine certificate is expected to be available in November.