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Taking teenagers skiing this winter?

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Simon Calder answers my question about whether this vaccine proof mess will ever be sorted in The Independent today - his answer is "Yes, but when?"

https://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/simon-calder-travel-expert-covid-b1961071.html?s=08

I upped the ante in my modest activism yesterday by emailing the Children's Commissioner for England as she is independent and focuses on the rights of children (who currently cannot enjoy unrestricted travel with older family members). Not really holding my breath..
I wonder if the problem may be linked to the age of legal capacity for making decisions/access to records on health. Age 12 in Scotland (hence QR code letter possible) 16 in Eng, Wales and NI.
So not just an easy app tweak, but may need change of law. And assume any legal change can't just just be related to Covid vaccinations, so may open can of worms. Gillick competence may help (but how to prove that teenagers know what they are ticking, if it's just added as a consent box ?)
I'm neither a lawyer nor a doctor, so may be thinking utter rubbish, of course!

Suspect Sajid Javid and DeptHealth may be having legal advice (hence no useful responses to MP queries yet).

In any case I'm not expecting a quick solution (unless Sajid or similar wants to take his kids to somewhere they need proof!).
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Children 12-16 already have the right to overrule their parents permission on vaccination if they are deemed competent.
So a 14 year old is old enough to decide they are going to have the jab, but not, apparently, old enough to access a simple certificate showing the date it was done, the name and batch of drug used, and a QR code. The whole thing is a farce. .

The pass is simply a certificate with a QR code to prove they have had it. If the government is willing to stick a needle in a child and inject them (based on the governments own advice) and based on their, or their parents permission, the very least they can do is give said child proof that it has been done.
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Gazzza wrote:
Children 12-16 already have the right to overrule their parents permission on vaccination if they are deemed competent.
So a 14 year old is old enough to decide they are going to have the jab, but not, apparently, old enough to access a simple certificate showing the date it was done, the name and batch of drug used, and a QR code. The whole thing is a farce. .

The pass is simply a certificate with a QR code to prove they have had it. If the government is willing to stick a needle in a child and inject them (based on the governments own advice) and based on their, or their parents permission, the very least they can do is give said child proof that it has been done.


That's absolutely right - if its good enough to use the Gillick competence test for 12 to 15 year olds to have the jab, they should be able to use it to access the record of said jab. And if parents actively consented, that should count towards being given proof too.
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I get so fed up with this age thing with the Nhs. I can’t talk about my son with his doctor because he’s over 16. However when he had Covid, track and trace said they wouldn’t talk to him because he’s under 18 and would phone me the next day to get his contacts (which they never did).
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Gazzza wrote:
The pass is simply a certificate with a QR code to prove they have had it. If the government is willing to stick a needle in a child and inject them (based on the governments own advice) and based on their, or their parents permission, the very least they can do is give said child proof that it has been done.
Is this a problem that is IT based, or something more significant than that? AIUI, the countries that are requiring evidence of vaccination for people over the age of 12 are requiring full vaccination. That is, two doses of the approved vaccine, unless it is a one-dose schedule (currently only the Johnson&Johnson vaccine?). The UK can’t issue a QR code to 12-15 years here as they have only received one vaccine, and we have signed up to the EU scheme on vaccine passports which says that two doses is required for full vaccination. It seems to me that the problem is about different policies for vaccinating 12-15 year olds between the UK and some other countries, not whether the NHS is being a bit slow to update their IT systems to recognise children who have been jabbed.
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It’s both really… for most it’s the one jab for 12-15 policy which is the issue. It’s still not clear to me why we’re persisting with this given the vaccines are designed to be a two dose schedule, the first dose isn’t very effective at all against Delta and we have such incredibly high infection rates. Getting into line with almost the rest of the developed world would have the nice side effect of making our trips easier!

The app / recognition is a separate but related issue. There are teenagers who are double jabbed or single jabbed and recovered but there’s no universal record of this. I suspect there’s a really annoying technical or legal reason behind this that is quite hard to solve.
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@rob@rar, that's not strictly correct as France was for a long time, possibly still is, validating QRs for adults with prior antibodies and a single mRNA/AZ injection (i.e. me).

So, as I understand the EU rules, the uk could quite happily, simply declare that 12 yos with one jab is sufficient ... I think ...
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I just read that 16 year olds can book second jab from tomorrow

https://inews.co.uk/news/covid-vaccines-bookings-open-for-16-17-year-olds-second-jabs-boosters-over-40s-1311502
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rob@rar wrote:
Gazzza wrote:
The pass is simply a certificate with a QR code to prove they have had it. If the government is willing to stick a needle in a child and inject them (based on the governments own advice) and based on their, or their parents permission, the very least they can do is give said child proof that it has been done.
Is this a problem that is IT based, or something more significant than that? AIUI, the countries that are requiring evidence of vaccination for people over the age of 12 are requiring full vaccination. That is, two doses of the approved vaccine, unless it is a one-dose schedule (currently only the Johnson&Johnson vaccine?). The UK can’t issue a QR code to 12-15 years here as they have only received one vaccine, and we have signed up to the EU scheme on vaccine passports which says that two doses is required for full vaccination. It seems to me that the problem is about different policies for vaccinating 12-15 year olds between the UK and some other countries, not whether the NHS is being a bit slow to update their IT systems to recognise children who have been jabbed.


Yes it is both the single dose vaccine issue (not sure possible.to solve until JCVI recommend 2nd dose) and the problem that under 16 can't get access to records to show proof till 16 (so even double vaxed kids like mine are stuck).

With a sinking feeling I fear that the Govt will think neither of these problems are high priority to solve, just for the.sake of some family travel over winter. They may be hoping countries relax their Covid pass requirements in time for spring/summer holidays.

I heard that the pharmacy in Bozel.(nearest town with a pharmacy to our apartment in Champagny en Vanoise) is doing DIY tests with pharmacist upload to TAC for 13 euros (no appointment needed), so that's our back up plan if.we need proof for the lifts....
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That’s just 16 and 17 year olds though - families with 12-15 year olds are now the only age group who can’t make plans to travel relatively easily.
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Joyceycat wrote:
…(so even double vaxed kids like mine are stuck)...
I didn’t know that. Even more maddening for you.

Hope that situation gets resolved in the next few weeks for you, although I think for the majority of kids in the 12-15 range it’s not something which will be solved by making it easier to get evidence of their single jab.
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under a new name wrote:
So, as I understand the EU rules, the uk could quite happily, simply declare that 12 yos with one jab is sufficient ... I think ...
The UK could declare that. They could also declare that no vaccination is required for under-16s. But that might solve the problem as other countries would be perfectly within their rights to disagree and say that UK vaccine certificates are no longer acceptable for that age range.

This is a problem of harmonisation of health policies. Subject to exceptions like Joyceycat, it is not about the bureaucracy of health records.
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rob@rar wrote:
The UK can’t issue a QR code to 12-15 years here as they have only received one vaccine, and we have signed up to the EU scheme on vaccine passports which says that two doses is required for full vaccination. It seems to me that the problem is about different policies for vaccinating 12-15 year olds between the UK and some other countries, not whether the NHS is being a bit slow to update their IT systems to recognise children who have been jabbed.


It presumably must be a data protection related issue for accessing minors data, but that then determines how the IT works. Both my kids have one qr code. The nhs app allows you to see them as soon as the owners dob hits 16 (we confirmed this on my daughters 16th birthday last week) which I presume is how the app front end has been coded to decide if the buttons are visible or not. This applied to both domestic and travel version.

You have a QR code for each of your vaccinations - I assume the change to bring them into line with EU Covid pass standards was just a formatting change on how the data is represented, to follow the EU standard - but both 1/2 and 2/2 would follow that new format.

So the uk do ‘issue’ a qr code for both - but they are not really ‘issuing’ anything, they are just reporting your vaccination status details coded in qr form. It’s up to the app reading it to decide if it’s sufficient for a ‘pass’ or not in its particular jurisdiction.

The 1/2 qr code is useful in Italy, if nowhere else.


Last edited by So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much on Sun 21-11-21 9:41; edited 2 times in total
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@rob@rar, so France can do it (for adults) but uk can't for teens? Edit: and I think Italy is certifying single jabs for teens, though I've no idea where I saw that


Last edited by You know it makes sense. on Sun 21-11-21 9:50; edited 1 time in total
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under a new name wrote:
@rob@rar, so France can do it but uk can't?
If you’re saying that confirmed infection within 6 months plus one jab is acceptable then I agree with you. I know France have had this policy for some time and I think it’s based on solid science. But AIUI that’s not what is being called for in the UK, which is a vaccine passport for kids after one jab because that’s (generally) what they are currently being offered. My only point is that focusing on the vaccine passport and NHS bureaucracy is missing the bigger picture: what is required by the countries you wish to travel to. It’s about health policy harmonisation. That’s a bigger problem to solve than making changes to the NHS app.
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@rob@rar, I think I am explaining myself poorly.

As I understand it, teh EU digital passport scheme provides for countries to set their own "fully vaccinated" status, so for France, inf'n+1 is good, and I believe for Italy 1 jab for kids/teens is also good.

The problem is that uk kids/teens can't get QR codes for use in Europe, isn't it? (otherwise I am making a bigger fool of myself than usual) Shocked - I don't understand why the UK can't simply do what Italy (I believe) is doing? (And analogous to the French single jab for adults, which was quite happily accepted in Italy and CH while I still had that status, i.e. up to Aug 23rd, when I had jab 2 for the uk).

Or am I just completely off the rails?
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@under a new name, at the moment the UK’s policy for 12-15 year olds doesn’t align with some EU countries that we might want to take ski trips to, so kids that age have to follow additional testing protocols even if they have accepted whatever vaccination offer they have at home. My only point is that this is not just a case of changing the NHS app to show a QR code for what kids have already received. It is a health policy difference between the UK and other countries, and that’s not as easy to fix as changing the app.
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@rob@rar, but this is what I don't understand.

France has a different health policy for adults than anywhere else I think, yet the PS is valid across adopters of EU passport scheme.

AIUI, Italy's health policy is different for kids and teens from rest of EU, more resembling if not identical to the uk's, yet IT kids/teens can get a valid passport.

Am I making sense, I totes see your point, mine is only that the uk seems not unique -it just seems unique in the problems that it's generating ...
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@under a new name, a key difference is that the UK is not a member of the EU, so I think that limits flexibility for the Uk to set rules.

More importantly, I think you are viewing this entirely from the point of view of travel. Deciding that 12-15 year olds are fully vaccinated after one dose (and therefore entitled to a vaccine passport) is a decision which I think will depend on many more factors than whether it makes international travel easier for families. The government is constrained in these decisions by advice it receives from health advisors and regulators, and as I understand understand it the JCVI has still not decided if or when 2nd doses for that age range are required.

But I say again, the only point I’m making is that I think this is not a simple decision to change the NHS app and all will be OK. I think it’s much more complicated than that.
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@rob@rar, on the whole, yes, naturally it is more complicated, but I am indeed viewing this through the vicarious focus of SHs and my uk cousins' travel needs.

uk being a 3rd country may well be a factor but the uk being deeply awkward with its ex, the EU, and downright childish and obstreperous in its dealings seems more the issue.
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I think you also have to throw into the mix that UK Health Policy on covid19 is not directed for, nor informed by, a few 10s of thousands of families who want to go skiing this year. The JVCI advice on vaccinating younger teenagers was neutral at best, the Directors of Health made a decision based on wider public health and education benefits (yes that's a simplification) not whether Tarquin could visit Verbier for Christmas!

I realise this is very frustrating and I share that, but there is perhaps a slightly bigger picture to look at, which I think is the basis of Robs argument that this is not just about an app.
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@chocksaway, while that is, of course, a valid point, I would direct you, courteously, at the OP's title of the thread ... Twisted Evil

Within that context, generating a valid QR code to allow uk teenagers to go skiing seems quite "on point", non?

On which, I note that (if I am interpreting correctly) until the 12th of this month, you "scored" an Italian pass verte with a single jab ...presumably valid elsewhere ...

So while I do appreciate that it's more than the 1st world uk teenager skiing problem, my general thesis seems to hold that were the uk to say, "here's a QR code, valid in the EU app of choice, for single jabbed teens" then all y'all would be good.

Anyhoo, I think we've done that to as dead a death as it merits, there's an interesting article on the heterogeneity of governmental responses that I'll post shortly on the Health & etc. thread Happy
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Quote:

one jab for 12-15 policy which is the issue. It’s still not clear to me why we’re persisting with this given the vaccines are designed to be a two dose schedule,


It's because the UK has accepted that it doesn't have a sufficiently functional health system to detect the symptoms of the second jab side effects. Whereas in first World countries like Germany they are confident that they can spot and easily treat the side effects, the UK has taken the decision just to not administer the second jab.
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Asking for a friend, is there a smart IT person out there who could write an app that would look just like the NHS one that would generate a bar code that would look just like ones in the NHS app that my friend could use go go on holiday with his kids? Friend would be quite grateful. TIA. Toofy Grin Laughing Laughing
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TheGeneralist wrote:
... the UK has taken the decision just to not administer the second jab.
Ever? Is the the advice from the JCVI that a 2nd jab is not recommended? Has the government decided that a 2nd jab will never be administered to that age range?
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under a new name wrote:
@chocksaway, while that is, of course, a valid point, I would direct you, courteously, at the OP's title of the thread ... Twisted Evil

Within that context, generating a valid QR code to allow uk teenagers to go skiing seems quite "on point", non?

On which, I note that (if I am interpreting correctly) until the 12th of this month, you "scored" an Italian pass verte with a single jab ...presumably valid elsewhere ...

So while I do appreciate that it's more than the 1st world uk teenager skiing problem, my general thesis seems to hold that were the uk to say, "here's a QR code, valid in the EU app of choice, for single jabbed teens" then all y'all would be good.

Anyhoo, I think we've done that to as dead a death as it merits, there's an interesting article on the heterogeneity of governmental responses that I'll post shortly on the Health & etc. thread Happy


Italys policy around it’s own ‘Green Pass’ is not related to age - anyone with one jab qualifies as being compliant for their Green Pass.

But that’s just for use within Italy - it’s not a transferable thing to the rest of the EU - in fact their VerificaC19 app explicitly says ‘solo in Italia’ for a one jab qr code, versus ‘EU wide’ (or some such) for the 2/2 code.

No-one *gets* a Covid ‘passport’ - that’s not a thing. You’re simply getting a qr code that summarises who you are and your vaccine status. It’s then up to the local system/app to decide it that’s acceptable or not for the local jurisdiction.
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@Pejoli, ahhh, thank you, well, that clears that up nicely re single jabbery. That makes sense.
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So as of today I have two double jabbed teenagers under 16… do we think Italy will accept a letter from the GP as we can’t get the QR code?
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Thick As wrote:
Asking for a friend, is there a smart IT person out there who could write an app that would look just like the NHS one that would generate a bar code that would look just like ones in the NHS app that my friend could use go go on holiday with his kids? Friend would be quite grateful. TIA. Toofy Grin Laughing Laughing

There is a 23 year old girl in Kufstein did something like that for a few people, well generated vax certs actually. She is now awaiting a period of enforced relaxation at the hands of the government, her friends who benefited are awaiting letters accompanied by a bank payment slip Toofy Grin
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Thick As wrote:
Asking for a friend, is there a smart IT person out there who could write an app that would look just like the NHS one that would generate a bar code that would look just like ones in the NHS app that my friend could use go go on holiday with his kids? Friend would be quite grateful. TIA. Toofy Grin Laughing Laughing

The app is pretty irrelevant - it's just a carrier for the certificate (in the form of a QR code). The certificate is encrypted and unless you have access to a supercomputer and some of the best cryptographers you aren't going to work out how the encryption works. So as soon as anyone checks the QR code, the checking app will almost certainly realise that it's rubbish. If you use someone else's certificate, then obviously, the odds are the details won't match the person presenting it.

I have a suspicion that one of the actual reasons why the NHS app only regenerates a certificate valid for one month is to deter forgery. Even if you managed to break the encryption (highly unlikely, although perhaps possible for a nation state such as Russia) you'd have to repeat the process after a month. And I'm fairly sure the authorities are on the lookout for exactly this sort of activity from both individuals and state. All they need to do is change the encryption algorithm and release a new version of the official apps. And in addition, I'm fairly sure they're just waiting for someone to make an example of.
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Pejoli wrote:
Italys policy around it’s own ‘Green Pass’ is not related to age - anyone with one jab qualifies as being compliant for their Green Pass.

But that’s just for use within Italy - it’s not a transferable thing to the rest of the EU - in fact their VerificaC19 app explicitly says ‘solo in Italia’ for a one jab qr code, versus ‘EU wide’ (or some such) for the 2/2 code.
The NHS (England) app has option for domestic and for travel certification, which I guess would provide an opportunity for the UK government to set different rules for domestic and travel requirements if it wished.
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The UK government aren't setting the rules. Th QR code contains data which each individual country applies their own rules to.
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Booking system for jag 2 (or jab) for 16 year old now available on line - have just booked for my son ahead of Tignes trip a week today. Will still need LFT test before departure, due to the 7 day rule - but should eliminate the need for further testing for PS once we get to resort.
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Booked 2nd jab for our 16yo for 11 days before we go skiing. Not sure if it will help as we also have a 14yo anyway but doing everything we can to simplify things.
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Our kids have all recently caught covid so now camt have a jab for 12 weeks - so frustrating that this rule has been introduced! Especially as it was 2 days after saying 16-17 year olds could have the 2nd. Seems to me that this will greatly reduce the amount of kids coming forward over the next 3 months and will coincide nicely with getting boosters done instead. Totally understand that these are very important but feel like our teenagers are yet again being classed as unimportant.
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@shardoski,

I thought it was only 28 days after a positive test before you can be jabbed or have I got that wrong?

The guidance also states that you shouldn't have a test (lat flow or PCR) for 90 days after a positive test unless you develop symptoms
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Its 12 weeks after infection now for 16-17 year olds 1st or 2nd dose, presume the same for 12-15s too
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Wording is a bit woolly, not sure what "ideally" means:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-vaccination-resources-for-children-and-young-people/covid-19-vaccination-a-guide-for-eligible-children-and-young-people

"If you are not well when your appointment is due
You should not attend a vaccine appointment if you are self-isolating or waiting for a COVID-19 test. Ideally you should wait 12 weeks after having a positive COVID-19 test or at least 4 weeks if you are at higher risk."
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That is a woolly report indeed! My 17 yo son had a call from NHS on Sat to check his eligibility and as he has recovered from covid last week, he has to wait 12 weeks for 2nd dose. We are booked for Austria on Dec 27th, and although he now has a travel pass in his app (1 dose plus 1 rec'd) our friends 14 year old is unvaccd (but recovered) making our holiday look increasingly unlikely.
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@shardoski, when did 14 year old have covid, recovery alone is good for months in Austria.
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