As of July 19, the day that England removed almost all Covid-19 social restrictions, more than 10 million people had signed up to the NHS App, with over six million having joined as new users since the Covid-19 vaccination status feature was added on May 17.
The NHS App is now the most used app in the UK, with over 2.5 million new users signing up in the last month alone.
The Covid-19 vaccination status feature of the app allows users to easily demonstrate proof that they have received their Covid jab, which helps people travel abroad more easily, attend large events, and begin returning to workplaces.
Dubbed the NHS Covid Pass, this method of vaccine certification is recognised by more than 30 countries as proof of an individual’s vaccination status and allows for greater travelling freedoms. Those who demonstrate that they have received both doses of the Covid vaccine are not required to quarantine upon returning to England from a country on the government’s amber list from July 19, except for France, in the event that they received their second vaccine at least 14 days before.
Two-thirds of UK adults are now double-jabbed, and the government remains on course to hit its target of having offered all adults a second dose by mid-September this year.
Paying tribute to the success of the app, health secretary, Sajid Javid, commented: “As we cautiously reopen, the NHS Covid Pass will enable people to prove their vaccination status when travelling abroad and support venues and businesses to reopen safely, while protecting staff and the public.
“The NHS App is a fantastic example of how technology supports us in delivering health care. Not only is the app helping us start to get back to doing the things we love, but it is also helping us book GP appointments, view test results and medical records, and make life-saving decisions such as organ donation which bring wider benefits to the health system.”
Indeed, more than 90,500 individuals have used the app to register their organ donation preferences over May and June 2021, and users are also enjoying easier access to other NHS services with over 1,248,800 repeat prescriptions ordered over the same timeframe, and 103,900 GP appointments booked in through the app.
Interim chief executive at NHS Digital, Simon Bolton, said: “Thousands of people are using the NHS App every day to access their NHS Covid Pass and we’ve seen a big increase in the use of other features in the app, including registering organ donation preferences.
“App users are also helping to free up time for GP surgeries by using the app to book appointments and order repeat prescriptions online.”
As of July 19, businesses that operate crowded settings, such as nightclubs and bars, have been urged to use the NHS Covid Pass as a condition of entry to help limit the risk of viral transmission. To assist in this, the NHS Covid Pass Verifier App was launched over the weekend to allow for a swift means of identifying the validity of Covid passes.
Through the Verifier App, businesses using the NHS Covid Pass as a condition of entry can conduct a visual check of an individual’s pass with security features that cannot be screen grabbed.
Furthermore, guidance has been issued to venues under the Events Research Programme to advise businesses on the nature of the checks that should be conducted.
NHSX chief executive, Matthew Gould, said that the NHS Covid Pass that has proven so popular only took a matter of weeks to develop, and that those behind it were pleased with the level of uptake.
“We built the NHS Covid Pass in weeks, delivered it on time, and are really pleased with its progress. With six million more users on the NHS app, more on the way, and the prospect of putting the Covid Pass into other patient apps, we are creating a powerful platform for the NHS to do so much more for our citizens online,” Gould said.
“We will see a further hike in demand for the NHS Covid Pass as businesses follow government guidance and consider using it at high-risk venues and events. We will continue listening to user feedback and keep improving the service.”