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Vaccine Certificate | Digital Health Pass

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  • Vaccine Certificate | Digital Health Pass

    User-unfriendly Mor Prom app a flop

    Two months ago, the Public Health Ministry announced an ambitious plan to use "Mor Prom," a Line account and mobile application to manage Covid vaccine registrations. Mor Prom is not just another mobile app. The ministry is reported to have adopted artificial intelligence (AI) technology to assist in Covid vaccine registration, dubbed to be the largest mass vaccination in Thai history, to be smooth and seamless.

    Alas, Mor Prom - which means Doctor's Ready in the local vernacular - has proved to be anything but smooth and seamless. Mor Prom crashed on May 01 - which happened to be the day of its launch. Many users - particularly targeted groups such as the elderly and those with chronic disease - were more than disappointed.

    The registration process on the platform was anything but user-friendly. One of my friends took nine hours to register for her mother, just to find out last week that the system cancelled her appointment without any notification. The administrator of the database must have messed it up. Some users reported that Mor Prom alerted them that they had already had their first jabs before they had even been given an initial appointment. Mor Prom's poor user experience does not just stir frustration among millions of Thais affected by the ongoing third wave of Covid-19. It also holds back the speed of vaccination in Thailand. Many people make jokes about the app that the "people are ready, but the doctor is not".

    As of Friday, the government had provided two million doses of coronavirus vaccines to the people. About 960,000 of those were second jabs, equivalent to 1.4% of the population with only two vaccines -- Chinese-made Sinovac and Swedish-English AstraZeneca brands. To deal with the unready Mor Prom app, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul offered walk-in vaccinations, only to be overruled by Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha last week. The PM showed concern for the unmanageable influx of walk-in cases at hospitals. He urged people to book vaccinations with hospital staff directly or go back to Mor Prom and change their appointments.

    Why did this "digital health initiative" turn into such a sour experience for the whole country? In my humble opinion, I found the lack of transparency and the top-down approach implemented by the government, especially the Public Health Ministry, are the main reasons that makes Mor Prom so unready.

    Mor Prom Line is built upon the Public Health Ministry's Line account "MOPH Connect", a digital health pilot project intended to help patients book hospital services and trace their health records. The idea is similar to healthcare digitalisation in developed territories including Taiwan and Singapore, where governments have implemented all-in-one mobile health apps for people's convenience. The Public Health Ministry's executive may want to use Covid-19 vaccinations as a chance to transition MOPH Connect into the Mor Prom brand. But that decision might prove to be a recipe for disaster - like giving a rookie his debut in the World Cup final. The MPOH data pilot is just that - an untested project at a nascent stage being used when the stakes are at their highest.

    The Mor Prom development cycle ignored one of the most critical components of successful health digitalisation - the inclusion of stakeholders at every stage in the cycle. The pilot was reportedly overseen by a relatively unknown IT firm, and the result was an app ill-suited to the needs of its core users, the general public and health workers on the frontline. Unaware of the drawback, the decision-makers in ministry unthinkably ordered the developer to offer an unlimited number of vaccination time slots on the Mor Prom platform without consulting hospital staff about their vaccination capacity. This has resulted in many cancellations of appointments made using this supposedly cutting-edge service.

    Some health workers have revealed on social media some of the details about happened behind the scenes. They were forced by health authorities to register all the patients listed in their hospitals' database on Mor Prom without first seeking those patients' consent. It pushed up the number of vaccination bookings within a few days. This might help to save face for the government and decision-makers behind the app's development. But it is causing hardship on health workers and hospital operators who now feel reluctant to cooperate with a government they believe is out of touch with their needs.

    The failure of Mor Prom should be a lesson learned for the government and health authorities. The success of health digitalisation in the pandemic is not about using the most sophisticated technology or catchy interface. It's about using the right technology at the right time and to make sure this technology is responsive. After Mor Prom's troubles, many provincial health workers have recently built their own platforms for vaccination appointments using more simple technology such as regular websites and Google forms that take a few minutes for users to book vaccinations.

    They are also consulting their hospital networks to decide who should be responsible for the groups to be vaccinated first. Also, they are engaging the networks of village health volunteers and primary care providers to promote programmes which enable those in local communities to book appointments on the ground. In its rush to develop Mor Prom, the ministry has wasted money and energy on a project not fit for purpose. But beyond just squandering cash, it has wasted valuable time for vaccinations -- which is a crucial factor in the war against Covid-19.

  • #2
    Mor Prom app | Digital Health Pass for Travel Purposes

    To coordinate and ease air travel for those who have been full vaccinated, the Ministry of Public Health announced plans to launch an air travel platform as part of the Mor Prom Line app. Deputy Minister of Public Health Satit Pitutacha chaired a meeting to sign a Memorandum of Cooperation, taking the first steps to develop the addition to the Mor Prom app that has been used to sign up for vaccines, track second jab appointments, and receive proof of vaccination through the Line app.

    The plan is to use More Prom to display a digital health pass that would include vaccination status as well as details of past Covid-19 infections and recent RT-PCR tests and even antigen test kits. The passes would be valid for up to 3 years. The goal is to create the system and eventually evolve it into a National Health Platform. Officials vow that personal privacy will be kept at the forefront of development while creating a system to aid public health safety for everyone.

    There has been some concern about people reporting that their vaccine information is not showing up in the Mor Prom system now, creating doubt in the competence of the system to be expanded into a travel verification system. The Deputy Minister assured that only about 3% of vaccinated people have experienced an issue with this.

    While all data is supposed to be updated in real-time, the Public Health Ministry says that the missing data is still being uploaded into the system. With health officials proclaiming that 35 million people have now been vaccinated, it is worth noting that 3% is over 1 million vaccinated people whose data is not in the Mor Prom system. The ministry advises that those who have been vaccinated and find their information is missing in the Mor Prom app contact the ministry directly within the app. They hope to have all information current before the launch of the air travel expansion.

    The memorandum for the digital health passes for travel was cosigned by relevant officials to Covid-19 health and travel including the president of the Thai Airline Association, the Director of the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand, and the Permanent Secretary for Public Health.


    • #3
      The Digital Health Pass

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      • #4
        Digital Health Pass for Covid-19 safety out now

        The Public Health Ministry has launched the Digital Health Pass through the Mor Prom app and it will likely become a part of everyday life in Thailand. All residents in Thailand are encouraged to download it right away, though there have been some problems already. But the Thai government is pushing ahead with the hopes of creating Covid-free zones across Thailand by October 01.2021

        The pass includes a person’s proof of vaccination, details of their most recent Covid-19 test, and their antibody readings. This key information will then be quick and easy for businesses and services to verify the Covid-19 safety status of the pass holder. Airlines like Air Asia X, Bangkok Airways, Lion Air, Nok Air, Thai AirAsia, Thai Smile, and Thai Viet Jet are already using it as of September 08. 2021 Soon restaurants, salons, gyms, spas and more may adopt them to verify their customers.

        The Digital Health Pass is for anyone who has been tested at an official venue or has been fully vaccinated. The Mor Prom app only accepts 13-digit Thai IDs currently, so expats can’t register yet, and others have complained that even though they have been fully vaccinated, they have been unable to get the Digital Health Pass. Those with problems accessing their pass are advised to contact the testing or vaccination site.

        Now that 12.3 million people have been fully vaccinated, and 15 million more are on their way to full vaccination having received at least 1 vaccine, the Public Health Ministry’s plan to start to reopen things safely and get life back to normal is to use the Digital Health Pass to create safe zones, even in the dark red provinces.

        Businesses will create the Covid-free bubble by having all their staff fully vaccinated or recently recovered from a Covid-19, and required to take weekly Covid-19 antigen test kits. Customers will use their Digital Health Pass to verify that they meet those same requirements.

        The Thai Restaurants and Street Food Association has objected to the plan though, pointing out that not nearly enough of the population has been vaccinated, nor is there enough time before the proposed October 1 start date to get people inoculated. Even restaurant staffs average about 70% vaccination rate.

        Still the government is pushing forward with the Digital Health Pass plan, emulating countries like France and Italy that have similar passes to verify people’s Covid-19 health status and keep venues safe from outbreaks.


        • #5
          Certificates of vaccination can now be submitted through Mor Prom app from today

          From today, those who have been fully vaccinated can now submit an application through the Mor Prom mobile app to receive a certificate of vaccination online. The move by the Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute was made to help reduce long queue lines over applying for the certificates.

          The institute’s director, Kitpong Sunchatawirul, says the previous time-consuming lines were not ideal, so the institute decided to allow applications and appointment reminders to be available through the app. But, the available hours are limited to 9:30am-3:30pm, Monday through Saturday. According to Bangkok Post, the current, walk-in vaccine passport services are still available, at most of the designated offices across the country. Those who are applying must present an ID card or passport and national certificate of Covid-19 vaccination.

          The Disease Control Department says, so far, that 31, 430 people have registered for the certificate. The vaccine passport is an official travel document needed for those who want to travel to other countries. The deputy government spokeswoman also says the Digital Health Pass applications are also available on the Mor Prom app. The DHP is a system that allows for QR codes to be scanned, showing a person’s vaccination status at RT-PCR results if required. Those who use certain public services and restaurants may be required to have the health pass, as well as those wanting to fly domestically.

          For Bangkok and its adjacent provinces, people can contact the Institute for Urban Disease Control and Prevention in Bangkok, or the quarantine office at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Samut Prakan via the [email protected] email address. Other places to contact include the Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute, and the Communicable Diseases Division of the Department of Disease Control in Nonthaburi.


          • #6
            Vaccine passport soon to be made digital and issued for free

            Thailand is planning on streamlining the proof of vaccination process by offering an e-vaccine passport for free for international travellers. The CCSA announced the plan as one of the topics covered in their meeting today which also saw the elimination of Dark Red Zones and curfews, as well as a switch from RT-PCR tests for entering tourists to the faster, cheaper antigen tests.

            The decision was made to offer a digital version of the vaccine passport that are currently issued at a charge of 50 THB though the date from which the e-passport will be available has yet to be determined. When the programme does launch though, the digital vaccine passport will be available through the Mor Prom mobile application.

            The CCSA made the announcement but also issued a warning at the same time, reminding travellers to check in advance the requirements for whatever country they plan on travelling to and confirm that their destination accepts an electronic vaccine passport or if a physical copy is required.

            The announcement mentioned that Thais could apply for a printed vaccine passport by registering through the mobile app and paying the 50 baht fee, but it did not say if this option is available for foreigners as well. They would be required to make an appointment to pick up the paper copy at one of 4 locations
            • Department of Disease Control at the Bang Rak Building on South Sathorn Road
            • Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute
            • Urban Institute for Disease Prevention and Control
            • Suvarnabhumi Airport at the International Communicable Disease Control Office


            • #7
              Thai vaccination now accepted in the EU Digital Covid Certificate

              In a move that will help expats and travellers who have weathered the Covid-19 pandemic in Thailand, the European Union is now accepting Covid-19 vaccination certificates and passports issued in Thailand as part of the EU Digital Covid Certificate. The announcement was made on a Twitter account belonging to the deputy chief of mission for the EU delegation to Thailand.

              The tweet confirmed that Thailand has now connected its vaccination database to the EU Digital Covid Certificate System so data can be shared and Thai vaccine passports can be recognised as valid. The addition came as part of a decision by the European Commission taking effect on Wednesday that deemed the vaccination documentation of Thailand, Montenegro, Taiwan, Tunisia, and Uruguay as officially equivalent to the EU Digital Covid Certificate and therefore fully accepted for entry into the EU.

              That confirmation of equivalency is determined after a technical assessment of the digital certificates issued by each of the 5 countries by the EU services found them secure and valid. By being deemed as equal, Thailand will join the list of countries whose vaccination documentation will be accepted under the same conditions as the EU Digital Covid Certificate.

              Essentially, holders of a vaccination passport issued by the Ministry of Public Health in Thailand will be treated equally as those who hold the EU Digital Covid Certificate, allowing greater ease and flexibility in travel. Thailand also agreed to reciprocate, vowing to give full acceptance to travellers arriving from any EU nation and carrying the digital certificate.

              The Ministry of Public Health says that the Thailand Digital Health Pass will be accepted from January, accessible on the Mor Prom app though many expats have reported trouble using the app.

              The EU Digital Covid Certificate is now connected to 5 continents and 60 countries total in their rollout. The Commissioner for Justice lauded the success of the implementation, saying the certificate adds value to travel safety.


              • #8
                Digital health pass on Mor Prom app accepted in 60 countries

                Residents of Thailand can now travel to 60 countries, including 27 EU nations, where the Mor Prom Digital Health Pass is accepted. Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul and his deputy Sathit Pitutecha confirmed the development at a media briefing. The Thailand Digital Health Pass has been accorded the same recognition as the EU’s Digital Covid Certificate since December 2021

                According to a Nation Thailand report, Anutin says residents can now use the health pass to travel to 60 countries that have signed up to the EU DCC system. The certificate will enable them to partake in activities, such as attending sporting fixtures or gaining entry to restaurants, that require vaccine passes. Through the Thailand Digital Health Pass, the authorities in other countries will be able to check the vaccination status or Covid-19 recovery status of Thai residents.

                “I would like to thank the House committee on public health and executives of the Public Health Ministry, the Foreign Ministry, and the Digital Economy and Society Ministry for pushing for the EU endorsement of the digital health pass. I’m confident people will find it convenient to use the digital health pass when travelling to these countries.”
                The mutual recognition also means that the Thai government can check the Covid status of visitors carrying the EU DCC. Sathit says officials, as well as businesses in Thailand, can scan the digital certificate’s QR code to check tourists’ vaccination or Covid status.

                Dr Kiartphum Wongrajit from the Public Health Ministry says the first part of Thailand’s Digital Health Pass contains information such as the bearer’s name, age, passport or ID number, and nationality. The second part will confirm if they’ve been vaccinated, tested for Covid-19, or recovered from Covid-19. The information on vaccination and recovery status will remain available for 180 days, while the testing information expires in 7 days.


                • #9
                  Mor Prom’s chatbot gives you free Covid-19 advice and online diagnosis

                  A chatbot has been added to the Covid-19 application, Mor Prom. The update allows users to examine information about their Covid-19 symptoms, and it’s about 85% accurate according to an assistant to the public health minister.

                  “The Mor Prom chatbot is not a medical diagnosis but it helps those who are infected with Covid-19 if they should seek urgent treatment.”
                  Users are asked to enter their personal information on the application… height, weight, age, underlying diseases and symptoms. The app will evaluate the patient’s health and make medical suggestions based on Department of Medical Services guidelines.

                  The chatbot (an automated question and answer software) will ask more questions and offer suggestions based on the user’s answers, and if the symptoms are serious it suggests that they call the 1669 hotline for one-on-one consultation.

                  It will feature a tool for people who are isolated in their homes, and want their symptoms evaluated remotely.

                  Director-general of Department of Medical Services said that patients experiencing mild Covid-19 signs will be cared for in homes or community isolation centres.

                  The Mor Prom chatbot is currently available on the Mor Prom app and Mor Prom Line. It will eventually be available on the Mor Prom Facebook page and website, but it will only be in Thai language.


                  • #10
                    Mor Chana Covid-19 application to be discontinued from June 01.2022

                    Thailand’s once-mandatory Covid-19 tracking application “Mor Chana”, or Doctor Wins, will be discontinued from June 1. Mor Chana was once commonly used to track coronavirus cases and notify people if they had been exposed to Covid-19.

                    Mor Chana, which was launched on April 29 2020, used GPS and Bluetooth to track the movement of users, who were expected to use the application to scan a barcode to “check in” to venues during the height of the pandemic.

                    In January 2021, health minister Anutin Charnvirakul said anyone who contracted Covid-19 without having previously downloaded and used the app would be subject to up to two years imprisonment and a fine of up to ฿40,000. The threat was criticised as unfair on people without smartphones.

                    However, over time, use of the Mor Chana fell out of use and many venues no longer expected attendees to “check in” using the app.

                    Yesterday, Mor Chana made an announcement via Facebook that the application will be discontinued from June 1. Mor Chana didn’t provide reasoning, but the move is thought to have something to do with Thailand moving towards declaring Covid-19 as an endemic disease. The Thailand Pass is also expected to be discontinued from June 01.2022

                    “The application service will be terminated from June 1 onward. We’d like to thank everyone who helped control the Covid-19 pandemic in Thailand.”


                    • #11
                      Thai government shuts down Mor Chana contact-tracing app

                      The Mor Chana contact-tracing app is no more, with the Public Health Ministry confirming it has been shut down. Officials say the app is no longer required and therefore was closed yesterday, in light of Thailand’s improving Covid-19 situation.

                      Unlike the Mor Prom app, which was created to record an individual’s vaccination status, track vaccine side-effects, and provide data on the national vaccine rollout, the Mor Chana app was developed to track users’ whereabouts and let them know if they’d been anywhere where Covid-19 infections had been reported. People could use the app to log their whereabouts, be informed of the risks, and know when they’d been in the vicinity of an infected person.

                      According to a Bangkok Post report, the app classified Covid-19 cases into 4 groups. They were: a very low-risk group who had been close to asymptomatic cases, a low-risk group who had been close to people with symptoms, a moderate-risk group who’d been near people recently arrived from abroad, and a high-risk group who’d been near people with Covid symptoms who had recently arrived from overseas.

                      Healthcare workers were also able to use the app to judge risk levels for themselves and how best to protect themselves. Mor Chana also kept people informed about the Covid situation in Thailand, including the number of new cases, as well as allowing business owners to assess the risk of infection among their employees.