Info Commissioner clears use of vaccination database

Ljubljana – The Information Commissioner has given public health authorities the go-ahead to use an e-government database in which tens of thousands registered to be vaccinated at the end of last year but which has never been used for this purpose.

The green light on Monday comes after the National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ) notified those who have registered about the purpose of the database, securing compliance with the requirement that personal data must be handled honestly and transparently.

The Information Commissioner said none of the three institutions listed as potential users of data had wanted to take on the role of manager of personal data, a legal requirement which entails responsibility for the protection of personal data.

The database, containing the personal data of tens of thousands of those who wanted to get a jab, was billed at the outset as a potential priority list for vaccination, but the way people have to register has changed several times since and the database was never used for the original purpose.

Instead, vaccination priority has been determined in a national vaccination strategy, which has been revised several times and which prioritises age and, depending on the version, various professional groups.

It remains unclear whether the database will now be used for its designated purpose given that vaccination is already open to all those over 50 and many who expressed interest in vaccination have already received their jabs.

The Information Commissioner had nevertheless been criticised by government representatives of holding up the use of the database on technicalities.