A FULLY vaccinated engineer has been told there is no record of his Covid jags after he tried to obtain a status certificate for travel.

Douglas Smith, 74, fears he could be one of many patients struggling to prove their immunisation status after being passed on to a helpline where he discovered he was one of 250 in a queue.

Mr Smith, from Halket in East Ayrshire, said: "It would appear I've vanished. I don't exist in the system at all at the moment for vaccine records."

The Herald: Proof of being fully vaccinated against Covid is required for entry into some countriesProof of being fully vaccinated against Covid is required for entry into some countries

The civil engineer, who still works part-time, is due to fly to Greece with his wife for a holiday on July 21.

The country, which has one of the highest vaccination rates in the EU, opened to tourists in June but quarantine-free entry is only permitted if visitors can provide proof of being fully vaccinated, a negative Covid test, or evidence of having had the infection between two to nine months prior to arrival.

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Mr Smith, who takes immunosuppressant drugs for the chronic bowel condition Crohn's disease, received his first vaccination on February 18 and his second on May 10.

As he was considered to be at high-risk from the virus, he was invited by telephone to attend his GP surgery in Beith, North Ayrshire, rather than going to one of the mass vaccination centres.

However, when he requested a copy of his vaccination status certificate via the NHS Inform website he was told their was no record of his vaccinations.

His wife, who was vaccinated at a local mass vaccination hub after receiving her NHS appointment letter in the post, was able to obtain her certificate.

Mr Smith fears that he and other patients immunised through GP practices may have gone missing because their vaccinations are not linked to 'unique reference numbers' given to patients invited by letter.

He said: "I've got my wife's record - she's got hers no problem. She had a unique username from the second letter than came in.

"You then go into the website, type in your unique username, a password, you confirm it and then they give you the details. She has printed it off and has applied to get a paper one sent to her as well.

"I go on and I don't have a unique username, so you then go onto the website and it says 'recover your username' and when I go in and type in all my details, it just says 'there's no record of you ever being there'."

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Mr Smith contacted the national Covid helpline, who asked him for the same details as NHS Inform, and confirmed he "didn't exist" in terms of vaccine records.

He was passed to Covid-19 Status Helpline instead where he was the 250th person in the queue on his first attempt, and 190th on the second.

Again he was told there was "no record" of his vaccinations and that neither helpline could resolve the problem as "everyone is accessing the same database".

The NHS Inform website also warns people against contacting their GP practice about vaccination status as "GP's cannot provide letters showing your coronavirus vaccination status".

The Herald: Mr Smith was among the patients invited for vaccination at their GP surgeries rather than the mass vaccination hubsMr Smith was among the patients invited for vaccination at their GP surgeries rather than the mass vaccination hubs

The Herald understands that when vaccinations were carried out in surgeries, the patients' details should have been logged in the GP information system first and then uploaded onto the TURAS central database.

Mr Smith said that while his own GP practice in based in the NHS Ayrshire and Arran health board it is part of a group headed by a practice based in Renfrewshire, which is in the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde region, and fears that this could also have contributed to some sort of IT problem.

He is worried his records are now "completely lost" and has no idea how to prove his vaccination status.

The Herald: Douglas Smith at home in Halket, AyrshireDouglas Smith at home in Halket, Ayrshire

Several mass events, including the Wimbledon tennis championships and some Euros football stadiums, already require proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test for entry.

"The travel to Greece is completely irrelevant," said Mr Smith. "A lot of places now you need a vaccination record, so my wife can go but I can't.

"I can't go to Wimbledon, I can't go to the snooker, I can't go to the football because I don't have a record.

"There is a huge glitch in the system. I'm not trying to rock the boat, in many ways they've done a great job getting us all vaccinated, but it appears that either they've completely lost the records or they've not been posted.

"All I know is, I can't access mine and I suspect everybody who has been inoculated at their GP surgery on a telephone call is in exactly the same position as me and that's why, when you try to phone this helpline number, there's 250 people in front of you."

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There have also been reports of people vaccinated in England but now living in Scotland discovering that there was no record of their immunisation status using the NHS Inform system, while hundreds of people taking part in a clinical trial of the Novavax vaccine in Grampian have also been unable to obtain the certificates due to an IT "anomaly". 

The Scottish Government said requests to update vaccinations records can be made via the Covid Status helpline on 0808 196 8565.

A spokesman added: “We are aware that some boards are experiencing increased requests to update vaccination records and people can do this via the helpline. People who received their vaccine from a GP can still register online to receive their vaccine certificate if required for international travel.

“We continue to work towards replacing the record of vaccination status with digital Covid Status Certificates, which will include vaccination and testing data to be used for outbound international travel.”