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Updated 17 September 2021

The Indian mass vaccination program is processing at an impressive pace. Since starting the world’s largest vaccination drive, India has successfully doled out over 55 crore doses, fully vaccinating 12 crore Indians till 17 August, and the rest are waiting for the second dose. As a logical next step, those vaccinated are now eager to lay their hands on their vaccine certificates.

What are these vaccine certificates? Where should you get them and why? Keep reading to find out.

What is the COVID vaccine certificate?

COVID vaccine certificates are proof that you have taken one or both doses of any vaccine approved in the country. The certificate states at the top if you have received one COVID-19 vaccine dose, or are fully vaccinated.

The left part of the certificate shows the beneficiary details – name, age, sex, address, verified ID, and beneficiary ID number.

The right part displays all your vaccination details – which vaccine was taken, on what dates, and at which vaccination centre.

 

How to get the vaccine certificate?

You will receive a provisional certificate once you have received the first dose, but the certificate will only show the details of the first jab then.

Once you receive your second dose, you will receive the message for completion of the schedule which would include a link to download the digital certificate of vaccination.

You can also download the vaccine certificate from the CoWIN website, Aarogya Setu app, or the Digilocker app.

CoWIN website

  1. Open the CoWIN online portal.
  2. Click on the ‘Register/Sign In Yourself’ yellow button. Those who are using it for the first time will need to register themselves with their photo ID proof (Aadhar Card/ Driving License/ PAN Card/ Passport/ Pension Passbook), photo ID number, name, and birth year. These details must be the same as what was given by you at the time of vaccination. Those who have registered can sign in with an OTP.
  3. Once you receive your first dose, you’ll be able to see the ‘certificate’ option below your name.
  4. Click on the ‘certificate’ button to download your certificate.

 

Aarogya Setu app

Aarogya Setu Gets a New CoWIN Dashboard for COVID-19 Vaccine Certificate, Other Related Details

Image © News18

  1. Download the Aarogya Setu app on iOS App Store or Google Play.
  2. Click on the CoWIN tab on the top and proceed to ‘Vaccination Certificate’.
  3. You need to have the 13-digit beneficiary reference ID with you.
  4. Once you enter the number, you’ll be able to view and download the certificate.

 

Digilocker app

  1. Download the Digilocker app on iOS App Store or Google Play.
  2. If you’re using the app for the first time, register yourself with personal details like name, date of birth, gender, and contact number, and your Aadhaar Card number. Set a username for yourself.
  3. Once logged in, scroll down the home page to the ‘Health’ section and click on the ‘Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’ button, where you’ll see the ‘Vaccine Certificate’ option.
  4. You need to have the 13-digit beneficiary reference ID with you.
  5. Once you enter the number, you’ll be able to view and download the certificate.

 

UMANG app

  1. Download the UMANG app on Google Play or iOS App Store.
  2. If you’re using the app for the first time, register yourself with an OTP and set up your MPIN.
  3. Scroll down to click on “Health” listed under the different categories, denoted with a pink heart and plus sign.
  4. Select the “Co-WIN” option at the top and then click on the little arrow next to “Download Vaccination Certificate”.
  5. Enter your mobile number and verify it with an OTP.
  6. If you have registered more than one beneficiary on that number, click on the downward-facing arrow to open the dropdown, and select the beneficiary whose certificate you wish to download.
  7. Once the beneficiary is selected, click on the blue “Download” button to obtain the certificate.

 

Benefits for India vaccine certificate holders

Once vaccinated, Indians will be able to travel domestically and cross-border with far fewer restrictions by showing their vaccination certificates. Holders of these certificates will be able to circumvent quarantine periods, testing requirements, etc. Public transports, railways and various such services might consider this as a valid proof to curb infection in future.

According to R S Sharma, the CEO of the National Health Authority, the certificates have been aligned with the “fast healthcare interoperability resources” (FHIR) which will make them a globally acceptable vaccination proof. They are tamper and forgery-proof and can be easily verified digitally.

Several countries have already opened their borders for Indian travellers, especially for vaccinated Indians, allowing them to surpass testing and quarantine requirements.

To ensure safety, public places like gardens, restaurants, malls, beaches, cinema halls, etc. may open exclusively to inoculated citizens and vaccination certificates may be asked for at entry.

Less obvious benefits may include discounts or freebies offered by small establishments to those who have been vaccinated.

Entry into certain states

Here are the Indian states and Union Territories that no longer mandate an RT-PCR test for vaccinated travellers. This list is specific to air travel:

  • Andaman: Passengers must carry an RT-PCR negative report taken 48 hours before commencement of journey.
  • Assam: Rapid Antigen Test on arrival is mandatory.
  • Chandigarh: Passengers must carry a negative RT-PCR report not earlier than 72 hours or have a vaccination certificate (at least one dose) over two weeks old.
  • Chattisgarh: Passengers must carry a negative RT-PCR report not earlier than 96 hours or a COVID vaccination Final Certificate (generated after two doses of vaccination).
  • Goa: Passengers must carry a negative RT-PCR report not earlier than 72 hours and should be fully vaccinated 15 days prior to arrival.
  • Himachal Pradesh: Passengers must carry a negative RT-PCR report not earlier than 96 hours.
  • Jammu & Kashmir: Passengers will have to undergo RT-PCR on arrival.
  • Karnataka: Passengers having Covid-19 symptoms will have to carry an RT-PCR negative report.
  • Kerala: All passengers must have an RT-PCR/TrueNAT/CBNAAT negative report not earlier than 72 hours or a COVID vaccination Final Certificate (after two doses of vaccination).
  • Punjab: Passengers must carry a negative RT-PCR report not earlier than 72 hours or have a vaccination certificate (at least one dose) over two weeks old.
  • Delhi: Passengers originating their journeys from any city/airport in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana states are advised to have RT-PCR negative report done within the last 72hrs or a vaccination certificate (2 doses complete).
  • Nagaland: All passengers must have an RT-PCR/TrueNAT/CBNAAT negative report not earlier than 72 hours or a COVID vaccination Final Certificate (after two doses of vaccination).
  • Maharashtra: All passengers must have an RT-PCR negative report not earlier than 72 hours or a COVID vaccination Final Certificate (after two doses of vaccination).
  • Manipur: All passengers must have an RT-PCR/TrueNAT/CBNAAT negative report not earlier than 72 hours or a COVID vaccination Final Certificate (after two doses of vaccination).
  • Meghalaya: RT-PCR test is mandatory for all arriving passengers on chargeable basis incase passenger is not carrying a negative COVID-19 report on arrival not earlier than 72 hours.
  • Mizoram: Passengers must carry a negative RT-PCR report not earlier than 96 hours.
  • Punjab: All passengers must have an RT-PCR negative report not earlier than 72 hours or a COVID vaccination Final Certificate (after two doses of vaccination).
  • Rajasthan: Passengers arriving into Rajasthan who are fully vaccinated 28-days before arrival will no longer require testing on arrival. Passengers who are not vaccinated must carry an RT-PCR negative report not earlier than 72 hours.
  • Tamil Nadu: Passengers arriving at Coimbatore need have Auto E-Pass and also carry a negative RT-PCR report not earlier than 72 hours from the time of departure. Testing is also done for free at the airport.
  • Tripura: : All passengers must have an RT-PCR/TrueNAT/CBNAAT negative report not earlier than 72 hours or a COVID vaccination Final Certificate (after two doses of vaccination).
  • Uttarakhand:  All passengers must have an RT-PCR/TrueNAT/CBNAAT negative report not earlier than 72 hours or a COVID vaccination Final Certificate (after two doses of vaccination).
  • Uttar Pradesh: All passengers arriving from Kerala and Maharashtra must have an RT-PCR negative report not earlier than 72 hours
  • West Bengal. All passengers must have an RT-PCR/TrueNAT/CBNAAT negative report not earlier than 72 hours or a COVID vaccination Final Certificate (after two doses of vaccination).

As more and more Indians are completing their vaccination schedules, more states are expected to introduce such relaxations in their rules for them.

We will update this article as new developments unfold.

 

Countries requiring proof of vaccination

A few countries now allow fully vaccinated travellers from India to visit, even if they don’t fall in the exempted categories.

However, proof of vaccination – that is, your vaccination certificate – is asked for to verify your eligibility to travel.

Croatia

Arrivals from India must present a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours or an antigen test taken within 48 hours. They must also produce a vaccination certificate (of a vaccination approved for use in the EU), with the vaccine completed within the past 270 days.

Recognized vaccine: Covishield only.

Estonia

Estonia allows all vaccinated tourists to enter, regardless of country of origin or purpose. They are not subject to any testing or quarantine requirement.

Recognized vaccine: Any vaccine authorized in India.

Germany

Indians must be fully vaccinated or must demonstrate that they have recovered from COVID-19. They will not need to quarantine on their return or arrival. Your vaccination certificate must contain your passport number or date of birth.

Recognized vaccines: Covishield only

Iceland

Travellers must present a valid certificate of full vaccination against COVID-19 or certificate of previous COVID-19 infection. A negative PCR or antigen (rapid) test that is no more than 72 hours old before departure to Iceland is also required.

Recognized vaccines: Covishield only.

Lebanon

Anyone arriving to Lebanon will be required to present a negative test, no older than 96 hours. A second PCR test will be is required upon arrival. All arrivals are required to have valid medical insurance. Travellers who are fully vaccinated and can provide vaccine certification are not required to quarantine for 4 days or present a pre-arrival test.

Recognized vaccine: Covishield and Sputnik V.

Maldives

Passengers must have a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken at most 96 hours before departure. The test result must have the name of the passenger as in the passport and the address of the testing laboratory. Quarantine is not necessary for passengers with a COVID-19 vaccination certificate showing that they were fully vaccinated at least 14 days before arrival.

Recognized vaccine: Covishield or Sputnik V.

Qatar

Qatar has reopened its borders to fully-vaccinated business and pleasure travellers. Inbound passengers will still have to take an RT-PCR test within 72 hours before departure and present the negative result on arrival. Those vaccinated in Qatar are subject to a two-day hotel quarantine and are allowed to leave the hotel on the second day if the result of the PCR test is negative. However, the rest are subject to a hotel quarantine for a period of 10 days.

Recognized vaccine: Covishield only.

Switzerland

The Swiss government has announced to welcome fully vaccinated Indian travellers, without any quarantine and RT-PCR test requirements. Proof of being fully vaccinated in the form of a vaccine certificate is mandatory for both visa application and travel.

Recognized vaccine: Covishield only.

United Arab Emirates

Indians who have a valid residency permit and are fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to travel can enter the UAE. A negative RT-PCR taken no longer than 72 hours before departure must be produced. Vaccine certificates as proof of being fully vaccinated are required for entry to all Emirates except Dubai.

Recognized vaccines: Covaxin and Covishield.