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

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. 

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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. 

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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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