Patients in England will soon be able to access a dedicated service to answer their specific queries about Covid vaccination records.
The service is expected to go live in August, with NHS Digital to provide more information when available, NHS England has said.
The news follows complaints from practices that patient phone calls about accessing the NHS App ‘Covid Pass’ feature were adding to GPs’ workload.
Over 1.3 million new people have registered with the app to show their vaccine status since the feature was announced on 7 May, according to the Government.
People can also prove their vaccination status by ordering a letter online or via the 119 Covid vaccination phone helpline.
People will eventually be asked to prove they are fully vaccinated as a condition of entry to ‘nightclubs and other venues where large crowds gather’, Prime Minister Boris Johnson indicated in last Monday’s coronavirus briefing.
The Government will ask venues to introduce the requirement by the end of September, when all over-18s have had a chance to have two vaccine doses, he said.
The new strategy marks a break from comments made by vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi in February, when he said the Government was ‘not planning to have a [vaccine] passport in the UK’.
At the time, he suggested travellers should ask GPs for proof of their Covid jab if other countries required proof of vaccination.
In response, the Institute of General Practice Management (IGPM) said patients should use the NHS app to demonstrate they had been vaccinated against Covid, rather than calling their GP practice for information and adding to staff workload.
At a House of Commons debate on Thursday, Mr Zahawi was pressed by fellow Conservative MPs to promise that the Government would allow MPs to vote on any decision to make proof of vaccination status a legal requirement for entry.
This story first appeared on our sister publication, Pulse.