Press release by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare and the Social Insurance Institution of Finland
Finland’s COVID-19 vaccination certificate will conform to the EU model
Finland is preparing a digital COVID-19 vaccination certificate that will be compatible with the proposed EU model. The Finnish certificate will be available in the My Kanta Pages.
On Wednesday 17 March 2021, the European Commission presented a proposal to create a Digital Green Certificate, which is a COVID-19 certificate valid in all EU Member States. The Commission proposes that the Digital Green Certificate be a digital proof that a person has been vaccinated against COVID-19, recovered from COVID-19 or received a negative test result.
The Finnish digital COVID-19 vaccination certificate, available in the My Kanta Pages, would contain the same information as the forthcoming Digital Green Certificate. In Finland, the digital vaccination certificate will be implemented in stages, and in the first phase, the certificate would prove that a person has been vaccinated against COVID-19. At a later stage, it would be possible to get similar certificates of negative test result and recovery from COVID-19.
The Digital Green Certificate would contain a QR code, and citizens could also request a paper version.
The Finnish certificate could be digital vaccination data, a QR code or a combination of these available in the My Kanta Pages, and people could display the certificate on their mobile device or have it printed on paper. The certificate could be authenticated with the QR code.
Digital certificates of other vaccinations and examinations
The Commission proposes that the Digital Green Certificate be temporary. It could be used until the World Health Organization (WHO) declares the COVID-19 pandemic over.
Finland’s aim is to make the digital vaccination certificate permanent so that in the future certificates of all kinds of vaccinations and even of laboratory tests and other examinations would be available in the My Kanta Pages. In this way, the functionalities and certificates now created in the My Kanta Pages would be permanent and available even after the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Finnish vaccination certificate will rely on existing patient records and information available in the Kanta Services.
Precise uses still to be decided
As of yet, no decisions have been made in the EU or in Finland when or for what purposes people would need to show a COVID-19 certificate. The EU wants to help its citizens exercise their right to free movement within the EU. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) would restrict the certificate only for medical use. Moreover, the International Health Regulations limit the possibilities of requiring health certificates for travellers.
The Commission estimates that the Digital Green Certificate could be launched in June. Finland intends to introduce its own digital COVID-19 vaccination certificate by that time. The necessary changes to all the patient data systems in use will be made before the launch so that all the information needed for the vaccination certificate will be transferred from the patient data systems to the My Kanta Pages. In addition, a new decree specifying the Act on the Electronic Processing of Client Data in Healthcare and Social Welfare will have to be completed and implemented so that certificates of all kinds of vaccinations and laboratory tests would be available in the My Kanta Pages.
Information on vaccinations in stages in My Kanta Pages
A new section has been added to the My Kanta Pages where users can view their vaccination information as soon as healthcare providers update their data recording practices. Before the information is viewable, changes must be made to the Kanta Services, too. At the moment, the Vaccinations section of the My Kanta Pages does not show information on all vaccinations.
A digital COVID-19 vaccination certification can be issued only when all necessary information is available in the My Kanta Pages. Although users may already be able to see a record of their vaccination in the My Kanta Pages, some of the information necessary for the vaccination certificate may still be missing.
Minna Saario, Director, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health [email protected]
Paula Tiittala, Senior Medical Officer, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, [email protected] (uses of the vaccination certificate)
Aleksi Yrttiaho, Director of Information Services, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), [email protected]
Marina Lindgren, Director of Information Services, Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela), [email protected] (questions about the Kanta Services)