Vaccine certificates part of implementation plan, says Donnelly

Minister insists impact of inoculation on Covid-19 spread will need to be seen first

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said a “low volume” of vaccinations could take place later this month. Video: PA/Pool

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has said it will be necessary to see what impact vaccines have on transmission of Covid-19 in Ireland before certificates of vaccination will be used.

“The vaccine certificate is part of the implementation plan and what we need to see is exactly what impact these vaccines will have,” Mr Donnelly told RTÉ’s radio’s Morning Ireland.

Mr Donnelly said he had heard that airlines had been “floating the idea” that passengers would need a vaccination certificate to be able to fly.

It would be necessary to determine the impact of the vaccine on levels of transmissibility – if it protected only the person vaccinated or if it prevented transmission of the virus, he explained.


“Then we will be able to make an informed judgment.”

Last month, Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said he believed it would be mandatory for passengers to be vaccinated against Covid-19 before boarding international flights with the Australian airline. He said he expected other airlines to implement similar rules.

Ryanair has said it does not believe air passengers travelling across Europe will have to prove they have been vaccinated.

The Government’s implementation plan says the design of a vaccine certificate and “the scope of how it will be delivered (eg physically, digitally or both) is currently being progressed with a number of stakeholders, including the EU”.

The head of the Government’s vaccination taskforce, Prof Brian MacCraith, told a press briefing on Tuesday the idea was being explored.

“It’s being explored at the moment the very nature of it, whether it’s physical or digital, but the language being used is very careful. It’s a vaccination certificate of proof of vaccination, nothing else,” he said.

“There are also discussions at an EU level of perhaps a single model across the EU 27 for example, but it’s under consideration within the IT infrastructure discussions and as you might imagine it’s not a particularly challenging thing to create in its simplest configuration.”