No, the WHO will not use a digital health certificate to list which vaccines are required for international travel

By: Emincan Yüksel
December 13 2023

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No, the WHO will not use a digital health certificate to list which vaccines are required for international travel

Source: Facebook


The Verdict False

It is up to individual countries to decide who to allow entry, not the WHO.

Claim ID cd93c34d


On November 16, 2023, a Facebook account shared a post with a video claiming that the World Health Organization (WHO) will use the Global Digital Health Certification Network (GDCHN) to list which vaccines are required for international travel.

Following the announcement of the WHO and the European Commission's digital health initiative, which aims to strengthen global health security, social media posts and claims that WHO's Digital Health Certificate will be used in international travel have increased. 

In fact

Examination of the WHO’s website, along with statements by officials, reveals no information that the WHO will share a vaccination list or list vaccines on digital health certificates as claimed in the post.

The World Health Organization and the European Commission launched the Digital Health Certificate initiative to strengthen global health on June 5, 2023. EU Health Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Stella Kyriakides and WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhonom Ghebreyesus announced at the press conference that the aim was to create a global system to help protect citizens worldwide from ongoing and future health threats, including pandemics.

Following this announcement in June, there were also reports that the partnership between the WHO and the EU would lead to a loss of national sovereignty. Logically Facts debunked these claims at the time and spoke to Kelley Lee, professor of health sciences and scientific co-director of the Pacific Institute for Pathogens, Pandemics and Society. 

Regarding travel, Lee said that verification of health documents in different countries would enable people to travel more freely and with less concern about health problems. Lee also weighed in on a similar claim regarding digital health certificates and vaccine requirements, which was debunked by the Australian Associated Press. Lee said that the WHO had reviewed the evidence on COVID-19 vaccinations, but that it was for countries to decide who to allow entry.

Following the spread of the coronavirus around the world, misinformation has increased in many related areas. The International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN), of which LogicallyFacts is a signatory, has created a database on this issue, where you can find checks debunking misinformation about international travel, the WHO's policies, vaccinations, and COVID-19 tests.

The verdict 

There is no information about recent international travel in the WHO's publications and digital health reports on the Global Digital Health Certification Network initiative. Individual countries, not the WHO, decide who to allow entry. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.

The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19, including symptoms, prevention, and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organization or your national healthcare authority.

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Global Fact-Checks Completed

We rely on information to make meaningful decisions that affect our lives, but the nature of the internet means that misinformation reaches more people faster than ever before