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‘I am just lost’: Aberdeen woman’s two-week battle to change name on Covid vaccine certificate

The names on Sherry Thomson's Covid vaccine certificate and her passport do not match up.
The names on Sherry Thomson's Covid vaccine certificate and her passport do not match up.

An Aberdeen woman is at a loose end after spending two weeks simply trying to change the name on her Covid vaccine certificate ahead of a holiday to Corfu.

Sherry Thomson, who lives in Rosehill, was given the name Sharon when she was born but has been called Sherry since she was just a few weeks old.

As a result, her identification documents are split – her passport and driving licence say her name is Sharon, while her bank records and NHS file say her name is Sherry.

This has resulted in a tricky situation where the name on the certificate that confirms she has been given both doses of her coronavirus vaccine does not match the name on her passport, which could lead to confusion and trouble at the airport.

The community transport driver thought the process to change her name from Sherry to Sharon on the certificate would be fairly painless – but it has proved to be anything but.

She said: “I requested my Covid certificate knowing full well it was going to turn up with Sherry on it, so I called the helpline, and they told me to change the name at my doctor’s surgery.

“They said the system will refresh itself, it’ll say Sharon and I can just request a new certificate. It was a bit of a rigmarole, but I did it.”

Sherry has ‘got nowhere’ in trying to change the name on her vaccine certificate.

System sticks with Sherry

However, the certificate would not update despite the change to her NHS file.

Ms Thomson added: “I called the helpline on Saturday, and the guy just said, ‘I’m helpless, there’s really nothing I can do. I can see that your NHS file now says Sharon, but your Covid file says Sherry.’

“He said he can’t go in and change it, he doesn’t have authority to do that – so who does?

“Who has the authority, on my behalf, to go and change it to Sharon?”

With just seven weeks to go until she is due to head out to the Ionian Sea, Ms Thomson says she has “no clue what to do to fix this”.

In desperation, she even resorted to emailing the company that makes the website holding all the Covid certificate information, but got nowhere.

She said: “I can’t be the only one, there must be heaps of folk – everyone knows someone who goes by their middle name, and people who change their name when they get married.”

Government looking into case

In May, the Covid vaccine certificate system was hit by a security glitch that allowed people to edit their own certificates and include potentially false information.

A Scottish Government spokeswoman confirmed the issue with updating Ms Thomson’s records was being investigated.

She said: “We are aware that some boards are experiencing increased requests to update vaccination records and people can do this via the helpline and we are looking into this case to see what the issue may be.

“People who received their vaccine from a GP can still register online to receive their record of vaccination if required for international travel.

“We continue to work towards replacing the record of vaccination status with a digital record of Covid Status, which will include vaccination and testing data to be used for outbound international travel.”

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