The introduction of vaccination passports, which would be mandatory for international travel, is not a close prospect, head of the National Technical Group of Experts on Immunoprophylaxis, Associate Professor of the Department of Pediatric Infectious Diseases Fedir Lapiy said.
“Most likely, vaccination passports will not be introduced in the first half of 2021. This issue is only being discussed at the level of Europe, the United States and other countries, because apart from Israel and the Emirates, very few people are covered by widespread vaccination. Speaking about the United States, Germany, Great Britain and other countries, many people have not been vaccinated yet, so these are only discussions for now. This is not a very close prospect in fact,” he said during the online event entitled “Vaccination brings us closer,” dedicated to the current situation on vaccination in Ukraine, held with the support of the GSK Ukraine company on Tuesday.
Lapiy predicts that a decision at the level of individual states or at the global level regarding the so-called vaccination passports will not be made in the first half of 2021.
At the same time, he noted that at present in Ukraine, everyone who is currently being vaccinated against COVID-19 is entered into the electronic database.
“Ukraine is negotiating on the recognition of these electronic databases,” he said.
In turn, Deputy Director of the Department of Medical Services and Medicines of the National Health Service of Ukraine Hanna Fenchak, noted that the National Health Service of Ukraine is currently studying the possibility of combining information on vaccination from the e-health system with international databases.
“We are studying WHO’s requirements for the information that is downloaded from our unified e-health database to be accepted in other countries of the world,” she said.
The European Union plans to present a demo version of COVID-19 vaccination passports on March 17, Deputy Health Minister Yaroslav Kucher said during a press briefing in Kyiv on Monday.
“Currently, there is no jointly worked out decision on vaccination passports in the world. The EU is only discussing a unified document and proposes to submit a demo version of the document on March 17,” he said.
The deputy minister added that after the approval of the unified document, Ukraine will be able to issue it to citizens on the basis of vaccination data, which are stored in the corresponding register of the electronic health care system.
“When the EU or other countries adopt a unified document that Ukraine will support, it will be possible to issue such a document or certificate based on the data in the electronic health care system,” he said.
Kucher also added that currently, countries that carry out vaccinations issue vaccination certificates, certificates or QR codes in paper or electronic format. For example, in Israel a certificate is issued electronically, in Poland a QR code is issued, in Denmark one can download a certificate through a special portal, Hungary offers a mobile application, and in Sweden the certificate will be issued in electronic format with its own application.
Members of parliament (MPs) from the Servant of the People party intend to reintegrate Ukrainians with Russian passports from Donbas and Crimea, as well as Ukrainians working in Russia, in bills on dual citizenship.
“The main goal of our bill is to reintegrate our Ukrainians from the east and from Crimea, as well as our citizens who have Russian passports and understand the current situation in relations with the Russian Federation. They received these passports in different ways. Someone, like in Crimea, was forced to get a passport in order to work in Russia. There are estimated from 1 to 2 million of these people. We want to pull them out and give them the opportunity to ‘declare’ and live peacefully with these passports so that they are not persona non grata,” MP Oleh Dunda (Servant of the People faction) said at a press conference at the Interfax-Ukraine news agency on Tuesday.
At the same time, he said, the bill will help “shed light on our political class and their foreign passports.”
“One of those who used informally dual citizenship was our political class, who received passports of other countries and used them … as a tool where they hide money. And people did not know about this,” he said.
He added the bill “will put a barrier to the aggressor country in gaining access to government posts.”
Dunda also noted that the bill will eliminate many gaps in the legislative field of Ukraine, allowing civil servants to have citizenship of other countries.
“For some of our high-ranking officials, a ban has been established to have a passport of another state. But the same laws have not established anywhere that if they acquire foreign citizenship while working in the civil service, they are dismissed,” the MP said.
As reported, on January 25, MPs from the Servant of the People faction registered three bills that would allow Ukrainians to have dual citizenship.
In bill No. 4640, the authors propose to amend the law on citizenship, which provides citizens of Ukraine with the right to obtain citizenship (allegiance) of a foreign state without losing the citizenship of Ukraine.
The proposed changes also allow foreigners to obtain Ukrainian citizenship without renouncing the citizenship of their country.
In addition, it is proposed to introduce a declaration of the presence (absence) of foreign citizenship (allegiance) and keeping records of Ukrainian citizens who have citizenship of other states.
The bill also proposes to provide for the submission of a declaration of absence of foreign citizenship by persons who apply for election to elective positions or to the civil service, to serve in local government bodies, to serve in law enforcement agencies.
The explanatory note to the draft law says that one of the important innovations is the introduction of the concept of “aggressor state.”
Ukraine is preparing for the introduction of vaccination passports against COVID-19, said chief sanitary doctor of Ukraine Viktor Liashko in an interview with Ukraine 24 on the Telegram channel of the TV channel on Tuesday.
According to him, all vaccinated will be entered into the electronic health care system so far.
“When mandatory vaccination passports are introduced at the international level, Ukrainian doctors will be able to promptly issue a certificate of vaccinations,” Liashko stressed.
Also, according to the chief sanitary doctor, the government is doing everything possible to vaccinate the population of Ukraine over 18 free of charge with two doses of the vaccine.
The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine has earmarked UAH 70 million to buy equipment for issuing passports, driver’s licenses and registration of vehicles in the administrative service centers, Ukrainian Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk said at a briefing on Wednesday.
“Today we took the first step towards the unification of the network of administrative service centers. It so happened that in the previous government many ministries tried to make themselves transparent offices, the administrative service center, each built its own infrastructure. This will not happen… We will optimize them. Today we approved the procedure for using funds for one of these networks – Administrative Service Centers, and the logic of the merger has already been laid in this procedure,” Honcharuk said.
The prime minister said that all these structures were created with one goal – to provide administrative services to the population – therefore, their unification is inevitable.
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Vadym Prystaiko and State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka Ravinatha Aryasinha, during the 74th session of the UN General Assembly, signed an agreement on visa waiver of citizens who use diplomatic, service or official passports.
“Prystaiko and Aryasinha have signed an agreement between the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and the Government of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka on visa waiver for citizens who use diplomatic, service or official passports,” the Foreign Ministry of Ukraine reported on Friday.
The parties discussed topical issues on the agenda of relations between the two countries, emphasizing the importance of intensifying political dialogue and enhancing interaction within international organizations. Issues of protection of interests of citizens of Ukraine and Sri Lanka were separately discussed.