Prime Minister Andrew Holness got his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccination yesterday and used the occasion to again push for the proposed National Identification System (NIDS).
Minutes after he took the jab at The Good Samaritan Inn in the Corporate Area, Holness pointed to the data that is being collected at vaccination centres, and argued that it could be easier if the NIDS was in place.
“Documentation is very important because we need to ensure that everyone who has taken a vaccine is accounted for. We want to be able to properly understand the side effects [and] we want to be able to, at some point in time, give a very accurate count of the number of persons vaccinated to know whether or not we have reached the threshold of herd immunity, which is [at least] 65 per cent of the population,” said Holness, whose wife Juliet, the Member of Parliament for St Andrew East Rural, also took the jab.
He noted that the COVID-19 vaccine registration process is very important as it opens an account for each Jamaican, but argued that it would be much easier if there were digital records.
“If we had the NIDS, then all that would happen is that you would come in, show your card and all that data capture would then go into the vaccination database and it would take maybe… four minutes off the processing time. It means that you could have a throughput 20 per cent higher than what it is now,” added Holness.
The Government has budgeted $2.3 billion in the upcoming fiscal year to continue implementation of the NIDS, which will be a voluntary national identification system.
It is being designed to enable trusted electronic identities for people, services and inputs, and the implementation of strong authentication, data encryption and digital signatures, based on a certifying authority.