From Iceland — Reykjavík Health Clinics Will No Longer Give Police Refugee Vaccination Certificates

Reykjavík Health Clinics Will No Longer Give Police Refugee Vaccination Certificates

Published July 15, 2021

Photo by
John Pearson

While it is still unclear whether or not Reykjavík Health Services (RHS) can give the police vaccination certificates to then give to asylum seekers in Iceland, Vísir reports that the RHS have decided to stop the practice, and instead deliver the certificates to these people directly.

Sig­ríður Dóra Magnús­dóttir, the medical director of the RHS, told reporters that the police had specifically requested the vaccination certificates of two Palestinian asylum seekers, who were later invited to immigration offices in Hafnarfjörður to pick them up, only to be violently arrested. One of them was taken to the emergency room due to injuries sustained at the hands of the police, and both have been deported.

The legal conditions for giving police health certificates is still unclear. The Law on Healthcare Workers states in part: “Healthcare professionals are obliged to provide the public with a certificate of patients they care for when such certificates are required due to the patient’s communication with the public.” However, Iceland’s privacy laws prohibit handing personal health information about an individual to anyone but the individual in question.

Giving the police the vaccination certificates, Sigríður says, was done in good faith and after consultation with a legal expert. The RHS has now decided that they will, as they were always able to do, send the vaccination certificates in electronic form by email, directly to asylum seekers.

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