Vaccine ‘passport’ delay led to Alderney isolation

FULLY-VACCINATED returning Alderney residents are facing being forced into isolation, after a data processing error meant delays in the issue of vaccine status certificates in the island.

Alderney resident Neil Harvey waiting in vain by his letter box for his vaccine status certificate. (Picture by David Nash)
Alderney resident Neil Harvey waiting in vain by his letter box for his vaccine status certificate. (Picture by David Nash)

Dozens of Alderney people have called up the authorities asking about their certificates, and they have been told that the error meant that their second jab had not been uploaded to the system, or had been uploaded incorrectly.

A former senior politician in the island was caught up in the mess, but he refused to go into isolation and was released immediately.

Neil Harvey, once the president of the island’s Policy & Finance Committee, said he was raising the issue to help others stuck in a similar situation.

He received his second jab at the beginning of April, but despite numerous emails and a phone call to chase the matter up, he has still not received his vaccination certificate.

He said a long-awaited holiday to visit family in the UK involved stress, unnecessary cost and inconvenience.

‘We had planned our trip, which was the first time seeing family in nine months, on the basis that from 1 July, and we were coming back on 5 July, that we would have no trouble at all just returning through the blue channel,’ he said.

‘But it was apparent during the week that we were away that if we didn’t have these magic vaccination certificates we were going to encounter problems.

‘We kept trying to seek a solution through the vaccination help team, and one hesitates to say we were lied to, but certainly we were given commitments, as a number of people were, that they would email the certificates before people travelled, but it never happened.’

On arriving back in Alderney on Monday, Mr Harvey and his wife were told by the welcome team that they would have to isolate.

Mr Harvey said that the welcome team were very helpful and stressed that it was not their fault, and that they seemed embarrassed by the situation.

When he got home he emailed the authorities to tell them that he was prepared to be a martyr.

‘I said I was sorry but I was not going to isolate, and if there’s a knock on the door from border security I will argue my case, because frankly this a bit of a mess.’

Less than hour after sending the email, Mr Harvey was told that he and his wife could be released from isolation.

His case is not unique, with many others have commenting on social media that they have not received the document.

A Health & Social Care spokeswoman said the issue was now being tackled.

‘There have been some issues in the transfer of data relating to vaccinations carried out in Alderney for a number of reasons but this is all very much in hand,’ she said.

‘Those requiring their vaccination certificates urgently are being processed and this should be fully resolved by the end of next week.’

Last month the States of Guernsey said that everyone would receive their Covid status certificates by 1 July if 14 days had elapsed since the date of their second dose.

It is understood that some Guernsey people also faced delays in getting their certificate, if they were vaccinated at a doctor’s surgery.

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