Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine certification: evidence paper update

This paper summarises the range of evidence available on vaccination certification schemes. Evidence is drawn from clinical and scientific literature, from public opinion and from international experience.

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Annex A: Methodology note

The data for this report were gathered through an elaborate and collaborative process including input from the SG Library services, colleagues from the Covid Ready Society Division and colleagues from the Reporting, Societal Impact and Wellbeing, and Evidence Team of the C-19 Analysis Division.

A search of the Knowledge Exchange database was conducted by the SG library team using search terms including, but not limited to: "coronavirus"; "covid-19"; certificate*; passport; documentation . The Knowledge Exchange database includes following databases:

  • Idox – a UK information service for government and the public sector.
  • KandE (Knowledge and Evidence) – single search across a range of quality databases selected by the librarians.
  • Knowledge Network – the national knowledge management platform for health and social care in Scotland.
  • Policy Commons – community platform for objective, fact-based research from the world's leading policy experts, nonpartisan think tanks, IGO's and NGOs.
  • ProQuest – a collection of social science abstracts and index databases.
  • OCLC First Search – search for articles books and conference papers across a range of databases including ArticleFirst and WorldCat
  • British Library Catalogue – the main catalogue for digital ad print books, journals, newspapers, maps and scores, in the Library's collection.

Monitoring data has been provided from available and published sources including Public Health Scotland COVID-19 Daily Dashboard[197], PHS Scotland statistical reports [198], NHS England [199], Business Insights and Conditions Survey (BICS)[200], Scottish Government 'Attitudes to Coronavirus Tracker' (YouGov)[201] and other sources where noted.

Medium term predictions of the impact of Covid-19 on the NHS, in terms of estimated number of infections, hospitalisations and ICU patients, were modelled by Scottish Government analysts.

Additional searches were conducted online, Google Advanced and Google Scholar, and some relevant scientific papers have been also included. However it should be noted that not all are peer reviewed, even those published in academic journals, such is the desire for speed around research in this area. Most of the resources included consider vaccine or negative coronavirus certification in a UK context, however there are some examples of EU and other international schemes as points of comparison.

Publications from SAGE, PHS, PHE and ONS were collated and assessed by the C-19 Evidence Team analysts and used as a primary source of information based on the credibility of the source and fact the data were prepared by a panel of experts. A scientific literature review carried out by the Scottish Government Central Library generated around 130 articles related to Covid certification. The most relevant search results were used by policy colleagues in their Impact Assessments and incorporated in this publication. Information from scientific literature was used to address gaps in areas not covered by official governmental publications and to reinforce the evidence base where necessary. Google searches were performed to gather international evidence on certification schemes. Those searches were guided by international assessments produced by the UK Government International Comparators Joint Unit (ICJU). The state of the epidemic is evolving constantly in both the UK and internationally therefore the most recent publications were used where possible.

Other sources of material researched and analysed by Scottish Government policy colleagues and analysts include:

  • Papers from Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE)
  • Publications from the Scottish Government
  • Publications from the World Health Organisation (WHO)
  • Publications from the International Comparators Joint Unit (ICJU)
  • Publications from the Public Health Scotland (PHS)
  • Publications from the Public Health England (PHE)
  • Publications from the Office for National Statistics (ONS)
  • Data from Our World in Data website
  • YouGov polling data



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