Britons traveling abroad have been warned against using airport WiFi to connect the NHS app to their vaccination passports in case they pass their health information on to hackers.
It follows government plans to add vaccine passports to the NHS smartphone app, which could be used to allow people to travel abroad by proving they have been vaccinated against the coronavirus.
But logging into the app and uploading health data over unsecured Wi-Fi networks could allow hackers to access passwords as well as sensitive personal information about people’s health status. .
Peter Yapp, a Schillings partner who was previously deputy director of GCHQ’s National Cyber Security Center, urged people not to rely on networks capable of stealing your data.
“Don’t access it, if possible, over WiFi connections that you don’t know anything about,” he said. “It just gives someone the ability to get the data as it goes.”
Hackers have used their own malicious public WiFi networks in the past to trick people into signing up and stealing their information as it travels.
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Vaccination campaign begins amid virus outbreak in Syria
A vaccination campaign against Covid-19 began on Saturday in the last rebel-held Syrian enclave, with a 45-year-old frontline nurse becoming the first to receive a UN-secured blow.
Nizar Fattouh, a nurse at Ibn Sina Hospital in the city of Idlib, received one of 53,800 AstraZeneca vaccines delivered to northwestern Syria via Turkey on April 21.
The vaccines come amid a new wave of infections in this war-torn country. Syria’s oxygen supplies are depleted and its hospitals were already overwhelmed by 10 years of conflict and deteriorating health services.
Idlib health official Yasser Najib said the beatings were delivered through the UN-led COVAX program for poor and developing countries around the world.
Thailand reports second day of record virus death
Thailand’s health ministry on Sunday reported 1,940 new cases of the coronavirus, as deaths hit 21 for a second day, the highest daily number of deaths since the start of the pandemic.
Thailand largely controlled the virus at the start of the pandemic through tight closures and border controls. But a fatal third wave that begins in early April includes the highly transmissible variant B.1.1.7 and has accounted for about half of its total cases and deaths.
Sunday’s figures brought the total number of confirmed infections in the country since the pandemic began last year to 68,984. The total number of deaths now stands at 245.
To date, Thailand has vaccinated nearly 1.5 million people, mostly medical workers and vulnerable people, using imported doses of Chinese Sinovac and AstraZeneca vaccines. A mass vaccination program is due to start in June with doses of AstraZeneca made locally.
High school students “will be offered vaccinations from September”
Secondary school students will be offered Covid-19 vaccines from September as part of plans being developed by the NHS.
Health officials are compiling planning documents that include a measure to offer a single dose of Pfizer jab to children aged 12 and older when the new school year begins, according to the Sunday Times.
Pfizer said trials of its vaccine in children aged 12 to 15 have shown 100% effectiveness and a strong immune response.
The plans, which The Times said it has confirmed with government and NHS sources, depend on advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization due this summer.
Taiwan’s first aid package goes to India
Taiwan’s first aid package to India to help tackle the growing rise in infections bound for New Delhi on Sunday, consisting of 150 oxygen concentrators and 500 oxygen cylinders, said the Taiwanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Countries around the world have rushed to help India alleviate the crisis. India recorded more than 400,000 new cases for the first time on Saturday as it grapples with a devastating second wave.
Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry said the aid shipment left a China Airlines freighter on Sunday morning and would be received by the Indian Red Cross.
Taiwan will continue to provide assistance as needed, he added.