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VACCINE

Reader question: Where can I get Germany’s ‘yellow vaccination booklet’ and do I need it?

As vaccine appointments are set to open up for everyone from next week, lots of people have been asking where they can get Germany's yellow vaccine booklet and if they need it.

Reader question: Where can I get Germany's 'yellow vaccination booklet' and do I need it?
A medical worker in Frankfurt holding the yellow vaccine booklet after getting the Covid vaccine in Frankfurt in January 2021. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Andreas Arnold

What are we talking about here?

If you get a vaccination in Germany from a doctor, you usually get a yellow booklet that can be stamped or filled with stickers and signed when you receive a vaccine. 

This is known as a vaccination record or pass in Germany (commonly referred to in German as Impfpass or Impfbuch).

The World Health Organisation (WHO) internationally recognised yellow booklet is assigned to most people in Germany when they are babies to record the vaccinations they receive. 

Even if you weren’t born in Germany you might have also received a similar type of document. 

Some people in Germany still have the older, white versions of the vaccination pass. Others, especially in eastern regions, may still also have the former East German vaccination passes.

READ ALSO: How do you prove you’ve been vaccinated in Germany?

Why is it important to have the yellow booklet?

In non-Covid times, getting a vaccination record probably never crossed your mind. If you needed a vaccine to travel you would have dealt with that with a doctor and be given the appropriate documentation. 

But now the German government is offering everyone who lives in the country a vaccine against Covid-19. And, being vaccinated in Germany has its benefits. For example, you can show proof of being fully vaccinated instead of having to take a Covid-19 test to do certain activities like go to the gym or eat inside of a restaurant. 

You also do not have to quarantine when returning from abroad if you’re fully vaccinated unless you’re coming from a ‘virus variant area of concern’.

It could be beneficial to have the yellow Impfass because it has your name and other details, plus it’s a handy size and recognised as a form of vaccine proof across Germany (and in some other places across the world).

But it’s not essential to have this booklet. People who are given a jab in Germany should be given a sheet of paper with the same details that they would have got in the Impfpass (like the signature of the doctor and the vaccine batch sticker) if they don’t have the WHO record.

How do I get it?

You can ask for a booklet from your doctor or any pharmacy. They usually cost a small fee, such as €1 or €2 but may be free in some cases. 

They are also on sale on sites such as Amazon but they are more expensive.

If you do get it, try and hold onto it. It will be helpful to show your doctor in future which vaccines you’ve had. And it could help if we need booster Covid vaccines in future. 

What about the digital vaccination pass?

Oh yes – the digital pass is coming soon. People who have been vaccinated before the digital pass is rolled out completely (that’s expected to happen in Germany by the end of June) can receive a certificate from their doctor at a later date which they can then scan onto their smartphone. 

The government is also looking into vaccination centres possibly sending out the digital certificate to people who have already been vaccinated but that’s still being investigated. 

READ ALSO:

However, the digital vaccination certificate is only a voluntary and complementary offer, the German government says. If a vaccinated person does not have a digital version, proof of vaccine entered into the internationally recognised “yellow booklet” is still possible and valid.

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COVID-19 RULES

Germany should prepare for Covid wave in autumn, ministers warn

German health ministers say that tougher Covid restrictions should come back into force if a serious wave emerges in autumn.

Germany should prepare for Covid wave in autumn, ministers warn

Following a video meeting on Monday, the health ministers of Germany’s 16 states said tougher restrictions should be imposed again if they are needed. 

“The corona pandemic is not over yet – we must not be deceived by the current declining incidences,” said Saxony-Anhalt’s health minister Petra Grimm-Benne, of the Social Democrats, who currently chairs the Conference of Health Ministers (GMK).

According to the GMK, new virus variants are expected to appear in autumn and winter. Over the weekend, federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) also warned that the more dangerous Delta variant could return to Germany. “That is why the federal Ministry of Health should draw up a master plan to combat the corona pandemic as soon as possible and coordinate it with the states,” Grimm-Benne said.

Preparations should also include an amendment of the Infection Protection Act, ministers urged. They want to see the states given powers to react to the infection situation in autumn and winter. They called on the government to initiate the legislative process in a timely manner, and get the states actively involved.

The current Infection Protection Act expires on September 23rd this year. Germany has loosened much of its Covid restrictions in the last months, however, face masks are still compulsory on public transport as well as on planes. 

READ ALSO: Do people in Germany still have to wear Covid masks on planes?

The health ministers said that from autumn onwards, it should be possible for states to make masks compulsory indoors if the regional infection situation calls for it. Previously, wearing a Covid mask was obligatory in Germany when shopping and in restaurants and bars when not sitting at a table. 

Furthermore, the so-called 3G rule for accessing some venues and facilities – where people have to present proof of vaccination, recovery, or a negative test – should be implemented again if needed, as well as other infection protection rules, the ministers said. 

Bavaria’s health minister Klaus Holetschek, of the CSU, welcomed the ministers’ unanimous call for a revision of the Infection Protection Act. “The states must be able to take all necessary infection protection measures quickly, effectively, and with legal certainty,” he said.

North Rhine-Westphalia’s health minister Karl-Josef Laumann (CDU) warned that no one should “lull themselves into a false sense of security”.

“We must now prepare for the colder season and use the time to be able to answer important questions about the immunity of the population or the mechanisms of infection chains,” he said.

On Tuesday, Germany reported 86,253 Covid infections within the latest 24 hour period, as well as 215 Covid-related deaths. The 7-day incidence stood at 437.6 infections per 100,000 people. However, experts believe there could be twice as many infections because lots of cases go unreported. 

READ ALSO: Five things to know about the Covid pandemic in Germany right now

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