Hundreds of north-east Covid trial participants are being left at a “disadvantage” with struggles to prove their vaccination status.
More than 430 people from the NHS Grampian area are taking part in a UK-wide study on the effects of the Novavax jab to combat coronavirus.
But many have been unable to access these details on the NHS Inform website, it has emerged, as some IT systems are yet to be updated.
While there are no concrete plans yet, certificates proving people have received the jab could be required when travelling internationally or attending certain events in the future.
Some popular holiday destinations already require proof before allowing visitors in.
North-east MSP Douglas Lumsden is one of the trial participants, and has been contacted by several others in a similar position.
He is concerned people contacted by catch-up services or their GPs – unaware they have been vaccinated – could appear as “refuseniks” if their information is not fully updated.
The Scottish Conservative representative has written to Health Secretary Humza Yousaf for guidance on the matter, and said: “At present, there appears to be no way for these volunteers to download their vaccination status from the NHS Inform website.
“I am sure you agree that those taking part in any clinical trial play an important role in combatting serious health conditions, or in this case, the fight against Covid-19 and that in performing such a vital civic duty, should not be placed at a disadvantage.
“I have concern that should this anomaly not be resolved, it may deter others from taking part in medical trials in the future and would therefore urge you to investigate this issue and push for a speedy resolution.”
Earlier this month the UK’s deputy chief medical officer, Professor Jonathan Van Tam, issued an open letter to trial participants saying they will not be left disadvantaged compared to people who received standard vaccines.
The National Institute For Health Research (NIHR) has also confirmed people who have taken part in a trial have “the same status” as others.
In a statement, the body acknowledged the “frustration” some participants are facing, and said it is working to resolve the matter quickly.
A Scottish Government spokesman said: “We are extremely grateful to everyone who has volunteered for vaccine trials in Scotland.
“They have all made a tremendous contribution to tackling the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We are committed to ensuring that these volunteers are not disadvantaged in any way, and work is ongoing to ensure their vaccine status is correctly shown on NHS systems.
“However, it’s important to note that we have no plans to make vaccine certification a requirement of access to services.”
Novavax trials: What’s happening?
More than 15,000 people aged 18-84 across the UK are taking part in clinical trials for the Novavax Covid-19 vaccine.
Earlier this month a study in the US and Mexico showed it was 100% effective against preventing moderate or severe disease.
Novavax started a rolling review process with the Medicines And Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in January, and will file for regulatory approval later this year.
The Novavax jab works differently to the existing Pfizer, Moderna, Oxford-AstraZeneca and Janssen vaccines currently available – using cells which were initially taken from a moth.
Read our guide to the Covid vaccines and their contents here, for more information.