ASEAN Countries Agree to Mutually Recognize Covid Vaccination Certificates

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The flags of ASEAN

ASEAN countries have agreed to mutually recognize Covid-19 vaccination certificates to facilitate seamless and safe cross-border travel, says the Health Ministry.

Malaysia’s Deputy Health Minister II Datuk Aaron Ago Dagang said this was agreed at the ASEAN Health Ministers Meeting held in Bali, Indonesia on 14 May, the Star reports.

He said Malaysia is also ready to work with members of the regional bloc to mutually recognize the Covid-19 vaccination certificates to ensure a healthy and safe regional development and well-being of the people.

“The recognition will be carried out with the ASEAN universal verification mechanism or other mechanisms, which were developed based on the World Health Organisation’s technical specification.

“This is to ease Covid-19 vaccination certificate verification issued by each ASEAN country,” Aaron Ago said in a statement on Sunday.

He said Malaysia also appreciates Indonesia’s efforts to lead the development of the ASEAN universal verification mechanism.

He added that the system has the potential to support ASEAN member states, which have yet to have a Covid-19 vaccination verification system.

“It is important to ease the reopening of borders and expedite the recovery process of ASEAN from Covid-19,” said Aaron Ago.

In the same session, Malaysia also expressed its support for the ASEAN center for Public Health Emergencies and Emerging Diseases (ACPHEED), which is a center of excellence and regional hub to strengthen ASEAN’s regional capabilities to prepare, prevent, detect and respond to public health emergencies and emerging diseases.

Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand have already agreed to accept vaccination certificates issued by Laos, whether in the original format in the Lao language or the dual-language QR Code version.