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France to monitor vaccination with personal database

COVID-19 Vaccine Information System to enable statistical monitoring of vaccination campaign

Shweta Desai   | 30.12.2020
France to monitor vaccination with personal database

PARIS 

France’s National Commission for Informatics and Liberties (CNIL), an independent regulatory body for data privacy, has given its approval to the government’s planned registration database.

The COVID-19 Vaccine Information System will include personal data of the vaccinated individuals.

The registration system will come into force from Jan. 4. To effectively implement, monitor and steer the vaccine campaigns against COVID-19, the government on Dec. 25 had tabled a decree, authorizing the creation of an information system processing personal data relating to vaccinations.

According to details of the decree’s proposal, the system will include personal identification data of the vaccinated person, contact details, dates of the injections, the place where the vaccine was administered, information of the vaccine injected and details of the health professionals carrying the consultation prior to and after the vaccination.

It will also include health information of people and treatments they were undertaking prior to vaccination and possible side effects associated with vaccination.

This data will be collected by health professionals administering the vaccination and will be retained in the information system for a period of 10 years.

The government has said the system will enable it in “statistical monitoring of the vaccination campaign” to identify persons eligible for vaccination, sending vaccination vouchers to these people and monitoring the supply of vaccines.

The data can be accessed by the doctors treating the vaccinated person, and public bodies like the National Health Insurance Fund (CNAM) or the National Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products (ANSM) to carry out their missions.

In an interview to FranceInfo, CNIL director Thomas Dautieu said the CNIL was consulted on this draft decree to verify its compliance with the Data Protection Act and the European Data Protection Regulation. He added the regulatory body has made recommendations to exclude those who do not wish to be vaccinated.

“We can understand that when we have been vaccinated, we must remain in this file, in particular to manage what is called pharmacovigilance, if we have, for example, adverse effects. But the CNIL has suggested to the government that in case people don’t want to be vaccinated, they can request that their data be removed from this file.”

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