US-issued COVID-19 vaccination cards will start being recognised in Malta as of Monday, with digital verification of such cards beginning as of August 1.

The update was announced by the Health Ministry on Saturday, in a brief statement.

US residents receive a vaccine record card issued by the country’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Those CDC cards will be valid for entry into Malta as of July 19, provided holders have received a full vaccination course and that 14 days have passed since their last dose.

Work is also under way to create a verification app that will allow local authorities to digitally scan the CDC cards. That system will begin to operate on August 1, with more details to be provided in due course.

CDC vaccine cards. Photo:TwitterCDC vaccine cards. Photo:Twitter

It remains unclear how the CDC-issued cards will be digitally verified, as the US cards are physical documents and the US federal government has said that it has no intention of maintaining a database of vaccinated citizens.

The CDC cards list the vaccine manufacturer, the dose numbers and the date and location of each dose administered. 

Concerns about fraudulent CDC cards prompted the FBI to issue a public service announcement in March, warning that fake vaccination documents were being advertised online and advising people not to post photos of their CDC cards to social media.  

Malta currently only recognises locally-issued vaccine certificates, the EU COVID pass, UK NHS COVID pass and vaccine passes issued by  Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates and Turkey.

In all those cases, holders must have received a full course of a vaccine that has been approved for use by EU regulators.

The European Medicines Authority currently recognises four different vaccines: those made by Moderna, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca. The US Food and Drug Administration has approved the first three of those four for use. 

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