Global Digital Health Certification Network

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The WHO has recently published documents detailing how they are moving forward with a Global Digital Health Certification Network.

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The World Health Organization has recently published additional details of the progress being made towards implementing a Global Digital Health Certification Network.

30. The Secretariat has also been exploring options for the digitalization of the International Certificate for Vaccination or Prophylaxis, particularly in the context of the measures implemented in relation to COVID-19 pandemic, and will continue to explore options for interoperability platforms for the verification of validity of such digital certificates. As referred to in document A76/37 (Report O), WHO is working with partners to establish a Global Digital Health Certification Network, which is intended to enable Member States to verify the authenticity of vaccination certificates issued under International Health Regulations (2005), as well as other health documents. (page 7, number 30)


135. The Secretariat has developed SMART (Standards-based, Machine-readable, Adaptive, Requirements-based, and Testable) Guidelines on the digital documentation of COVID-19 certificates, comprising recommendations on the data, digital functionality, ethics, and trust architecture needed to ensure the interoperability of immunization and health records globally. It also made available WHO COVID-19 and other health recommendations through a living catalogue (Recmap)2 for clinical, public health and health policy. The WHO Secretariat is implementing an end-to-end digital publishing and dissemination system to make all WHO normative and standard-setting guidance available in digital formats.

137. Pursuant to the third objective, the Secretariat has supported Member States in the use of the WHO Digital Health Atlas for country-level enumeration and governance of digital health solutions and coordination of investments, and has launched the WHO Digital Health Clearinghouse platform to evaluate and curate digital solutions against WHO specifications for interoperability and alignment with WHO recommendations.

139. Further pursuant to the cross-cutting implementation objectives of the global strategy on digital health, the Secretariat has continued to improve the specifications, interoperability, architecture and tooling surrounding the published set of Digital Documentation of COVID-19 Certificates guidance documents. The Secretariat has successfully concluded a technical feasibility study for establishing a federated global trust network, which tested the ability to interoperate the health content and trust networks across existing regional efforts, for example:

(1) The European Union Digital COVID Certificate – see the European Commission webpage on the EU Digital COVID Certificate (, accessed 28 March 2023).

(2) the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Health Master List – see the ICAO webpage on the ICAO Master List and ICAO Health Master List (

(3) the Digital Infrastructure for Verifiable Open Credentialing – see the Digital Infrastructure for Verifiable Open Credentialing website

(4) the LACPASS – see the Red Americana de Cooperación sobre Salud Electrónica (RACSEL) webpage on the LACPASS (,

(5) and SMART Health Cards – see the SMART Health Cards website (

using open standards and open source software compliant with WHO Digital Documentation of COVID-19 Certificates guidance.

Based on the foregoing, WHO is planning to establish and serve as a trust anchor for a voluntary trust network for a public key infrastructure, which is intended to enable Member States to continue to bilaterally ensure the veracity of COVID-19 certificates. (REPORT O)


Visit for more information regarding the proposed Global Digital Health Certificate System.


To learn more about the amendments to the International Health Regulations that were adopted on May 27, 2022, please read  more.


The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views the Virginia Christian Alliance

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