A St Andrews student is set to miss her brother’s wedding overseas because of “confusion” over her coronavirus vaccination status.
PHD student Giulia Benedetta Calabrese says she is “sad and disappointed” to have been refused quarantine exemption – despite being double vaccinated.
She had hoped to travel to Switzerland for the event next week.
But the refusal makes her ineligible to travel back from a country on the amber list without having to isolate.
Despite health records indicating that the 28-year-old has received both doses, the document provided by NHS Scotland only certifies a second dose.
The student received the first vaccination in England and a second in Scotland.
But because of confusion between health boards in Scotland and England, Giulia now faces the choice of cancelling her trip, or going into quarantine on her return.
‘I’m very sad and disappointed’
“I’m very sad and disappointed that I might have to miss my brother’s wedding,” she said.
“I have been very careful to ensure I got both vaccines and had all the paperwork ready to travel.
“I can’t understand why the vaccination programmes in England and Scotland are struggling to match up people who have moved across the border, between jags.”
Her plight, and that of two other students facing similar problems, has been taken up by North East Fife MP, Wendy Chamberlain.
Ms Chamberlain says she contacted NHS Scotland’s Covid-19 status helpline to resolve the situation but was informed that the matter was an issue for NHS Scotland and NHS England to address.
NHS England says a system is now in place to share vaccine data between the two nations.
Despite that, Ms Calabrese has still not been able to obtain a quarantine exemption.
The MP has now written to the Scottish Government’s health secretary, claiming the situation is “shameful”.
‘Jags from elsewhere in UK not recognised’
She said: “Many people, including thousands of students every year, move between the four nations of the UK.
“Yet confusion between our separate vaccine programmes has reached the point where jags received elsewhere in the UK have not been recognised by NHS Scotland.
“I have contacted the Scottish Government’s health secretary in the hope that something can be done, so that Giulia is able to travel to her brother’s wedding.
“And also to prevent this confusion from happening again in the future.”
A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “We are working at pace to align vaccination records from different nations of the UK and have a process in place for sharing data between England and Scotland.
“We continue to work towards replacing the record of vaccination status with a digital record of Covid Status, which will include vaccination and testing data to be used for outbound international travel.
“We will contact Ms Chamberlain’s office to see if we can assist with these cases.”