Digital health ID not mandatory for accessing COVID vaccine:
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A digital health identity under the National Digital Health Mission (NDHM) will not be mandatory to get vaccinated when immunization against COVID-19 is available, the Union Health Ministry said on 20 October.

As per the NDHM programme, everyone enrolled for the mission will get a Health ID that will ease access to medical services.

Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said at a press conference said in cases where beneficiaries do not have health IDs, other IDs can be utilised.

The Health Secretary's remarks came a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi said India is working on putting a robust vaccine delivery system in place and its digitized network, along with the new digital health ID, will be used to ensure its success. The PM was speaking at the Grand Challenges Annual Meeting on Monday.

Bhushan, about concerns regarding data privacy and data security under NDHM, said there is a bill pending in Parliament which addresses this issue.

"Till the bill gets passed, NDHM has a data management policy which has been in the public domain for more than the last one month. We have received more than 7,000 comments on the data management policy of NDHM which ensures both individual data privacy as well as data security. Based on the comments that we have received, we would be suitably refining our policies," he said.

The health ID will contain information about medical data, prescriptions and diagnostic reports and summaries of previous discharge from hospitals for ailments. The mission is expected to bring efficiency and transparency in healthcare services in the country.

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