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EXCLUSIVE: Stressed GPs tell patients ‘please don’t call us for proof of Covid-19 vaccination’

An app will likely be needed to prove vaccination soon
An app will likely be needed to prove vaccination soon

Overwhelmed GPs in Scotland are being inundated with calls from patients seeking proof of Covid-19 vaccination.

Some Scots who have now received both doses are eagerly calling their local health centre to obtain a certificate.

But GPs have been forced to repeatedly explain they cannot provide such a document.

They say the Scottish Government is taking on responsibility for the so-called ‘Covid passport’ as part of a digital system based on a downloadable app.

Dr Chris Williams, joint chair of Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) Scotland, has pleaded with patients to stop and wait for news from the government.

He said: “We are asking people seeking to obtain proof of Covid vaccinations to please refrain from calling their GP practice.

“GP workload is extremely high as we continue assist our patients with a wide range of health issues, with all our systems stressed and tested by the pandemic conditions, and we thank our patients for their understanding as we manage this increased workload to the best of our ability.

People are seeking proof they have been vaccinated. Copyright Steve Parsons/PA Wire

“On the issue Covid status certification, as GPs we are unable to produce such documentation.

“We understand that a digital system to allow people in Scotland to prove their Covid vaccination status and information about testing they have had is being worked on.”

The Covid passport has been touted by UK Government cabinet members and PM Boris Johnson as a potential tool to safely come out of restrictions.

It may be needed to attend events and will likely be needed to travel abroad on holiday when countries relax restrictions.

It was even mooted for use in pubs and bars but this idea looks to have been shelved.

51.07 % of people in Scotland have now had one dose of a vaccine and 20.92% have had two.

Dr Williams added: “Meetings are still to take place to try to reach agreement about the international recognition of digital certification solutions.

“We are not involved with the development of any such solution, although we recognise some of the complexities such as reaching agreement on any purposes for use, avoiding undermining collective efforts or exacerbating existing inequalities.

“As GPs our priority remains to provide the highest possible standard of care to our patients. To help us do this, we would kindly ask that you do not call your GP practice directly to enquire about obtaining a Covid vaccine passport.”

The Scottish Government say the Covid passport scheme is still being developed.

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