SCOTLAND’S vaccine certificate helpline is being swamped by hundreds of calls from people whose details have gone missing or been recorded incorrectly.

Callers face waiting over an hour in a queue on the jammed phonelines where they are being told there are 200 or 300 others in front of them, and even when they get through many are being told there is nothing the call handlers can do to fix the problem.

The issues, which appear to mainly affect people vaccinated through GP surgeries or on the basis of phone appointments, comes amid growing demand for vaccine certificates as travel opens up.

There is also speculation that proof of vaccination could become a routine requirement for entry into hospitality and leisure venues by autumn to boost uptake and curb transmission rates, with Boris Johnson indicating it will be mandatory for entry into nightclubs in England from the end of September.

France is introducing a health pass system from August 1 for entry into venues such as bars, restaurants, and cinemas, meaning customers will have to be fully vaccinated, Covid negative, or recently recovered from the infection.

Quizzed on the Scottish Government’s stance, Nicola Sturgeon said domestic passports “is something we’re considering”, but stressed that they raised “sensitive ethical and equality issues”.

The Herald: Nigel Fryer, from Dumfries, was more than 300th in the queue when he called the vaccine certificate helpline about his missing recordsNigel Fryer, from Dumfries, was more than 300th in the queue when he called the vaccine certificate helpline about his missing records

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She added that a digital version of Scotland’s paper-based Covid certificates would be available in the coming weeks.

However, it comes amid data glitches engulfing patients’ existing online records.

A retired hospital manager, who is fully vaccinated, has been trying to obtain his vaccine status certificate for the past week but described the experience to the Herald as “Kafkaesque”.

Nigel Fryer, a 75-year-old grandfather from Kirkgunzeon in Dumfries and Galloway, had his first inoculation at his GP surgery on April 20 and his second at a community hub in Dumfries on July 13.

His wife, who was vaccinated at exactly the same time in the same venues, has been able to download her vaccine certificate from the NHS Inform website, but when Mr Fryer attempts to do the same he is told the system has no record of him.

The couple, who moved to Dumfries-shire from the Lake District last September, have spent the past 15 years splitting their time between the UK and Spain and are keen to return to their Spanish home.

He said: "We sat next to each other - her details are online, but mine aren't. I went onto the website where it asks for your unique username and if you don't have one to put in the details to 'recover username' - you fill in your name, your address, and all the rest.

"I tried that several times but it just came up 'these details not recognised'. So I rang the helpline and at that time I was over 300th in the queue so I just gave up.

"The second time I rang up I was person number 142 in the queue, waited an hour and 10 minutes, spoke to a very nice polite lad who took all my details, said he could see I'd had my vaccinations, but said there's 'thousands in the same position' who can't access their records.

"He said it's a 'quirky system'. They don't know what's happening but it seems to be that if you had your first injection or both at your GP surgery then there are problems with one system linking to another.

"I said 'what can you do?', but he said he couldn't do anything. No one seems to be able to help."

The Herald:

READ MORE: Travel plight for fully vaccinated Glasgow pensioner told there is 'no record' of his jags 

The Herald has previously reported on similar cases involving patients in Ayrshire and Glasgow who were vaccinated through their GP surgeries.

In Scotland, mainly over-75s and patients with health conditions were immunised by GPs rather than through mass vaccination centres, meaning they did not receive appointment letters with the 'unique usernames' which the NHS Inform website uses to link patients to their vaccine status certificates.

It also meant that it was up to GP practices to input patients' details onto their own system before uploading it to the central TURAS database.

Retired detective Kevin Keating-Doyle has also been left frustrated after spending months trying to correct errors in his vaccine record.

The 55-year-old has been told the name must match the details on his passport to be valid for travel, but the Covid certificate wrongly states his surname as Keating.

It also includes an out-of-date Dalkeith address for a home he sold 15 years ago which means that even if he tries to request a paper copy of the certificate it is automatically posted to a property where he no longer lives.

Mr Keating-Doyle, whose permanent address is now in Oxford, had come to Scotland on an extended holiday last year to visit family, but ended up being stranded in December when Scotland-England travel rules changed in lockdown.

He opted to stay on and received both jags - arranged through telephone appointments - at Forth Valley College on March 15 and June 7.

However, despite repeated calls to the helpline, emails to the NHS, ministers and councillors, and pleas to vaccinators at Forth Valley College to correct the details on his certificate, nothing has changed.

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Mr Keating-Doyle, who has remained in Stirling while he tries to rectify the problem, said: "What it boils down to is that there is no paperwork that matches who I am.

"I've just been going round the houses with NHS Inform people - they say 'I'll get a manager to call you', but they've never called me back.

"It's causing me a lot of anxiety because I have a daughter I want to see in Oxford and a granddaughter awaiting a heart operation, so there's a lot of stress.

"Someone must have the authority to amend records. I've spoken to over 20 people since March."

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “We are aware that some boards are experiencing increased requests to update vaccination records and people can do this via the helpline...we continue to work towards replacing the record of vaccination status with a digital record of Covid Status, which will include vaccination and testing data to be used for outbound international travel.”

It is understood that Mr Fryer's case was "quickly resolved" after the Herald alerted the Government, while Mr Keating-Doyle's "requires further information to close the case".