Germany to offer digital vaccine certificates to Covid survivors who’ve had one jab

People in Germany recovering from Covid-19 and who've had just one jab will be able to obtain a digital vaccination certificate in pharmacies from Friday.

Germany to offer digital vaccine certificates to Covid survivors who've had one jab
A digital vaccine pass in Germany. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/dpa-tmn | Zacharie Scheurer

Until now, digital vaccination certificates were only available from pharmacies across Germany if people were fully jabbed. 

But people who’ve had Covid – and were therefore advised to receive just one vaccine dose instead of two – were excluded from getting a digital pass.

The voluntary digital pass is intended to help make travel smoother around the EU. It is hoped it will also help with international travel in future. 

READ ALSO: How to get your digital Covid vaccine pass in Germany for EU travel

Now, after some technical updates, people will be able to get a digital certificate with a QR code that can be scanned into their smartphone if they’ve recovered from Covid, and received one shot.

The Union of German Associations of Pharmacists (ABDA)– the umbrella organisation of more than 60,000 pharmacies in Germany – urged people to check the website to see which pharmacies are issuing certificates. 

The union said 95 percent of all pharmacies in Germany are listed – and almost all are offering digital certificates.

READ ALSO: ‘Makes life easier’: What foreigners in Germany think about the new digital vaccine pass

What do you need to show to get this certificate?

People must present three documents to receive the vaccination certificate: their identity card (or another valid ID document with a photo), proof of a positive PCR test and proof of the Covid jab – for example from the yellow vaccination booklet.

You can then upload the certificate to your phone – either in the CovPass app or the Corona Warn app. 

“We have already issued over 20 million vaccination certificates through our system in pharmacies,” said Thomas Ditrich, chairman of the German Pharmacies Association (Apothekerverbände). 

READ ALSO: German pharmacies begin offering digital vaccination certificates

“But for patients who have undergone a SARS-CoV-2 infection and therefore subsequently received only one vaccination, this was not technically possible until now.

“Now it is possible and we are glad to be able to offer this group of patients as well. After all, there are more than 3.7 million recovered people in the country, many of whom have been vaccinated in the meantime.

“The vaccination certificate can help them to enjoy the summer and the holiday season more carefree. The offer is of course free of charge for patients.”

The pharmacy receives a fee of €5.04 plus VAT per certificate given out from the state for this service.

Member comments

  1. is this the real description? COVID survivors? really? when more than 99% recover they are not called survivors. when few survive they are called survivors.

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What documents do you need to carry for Germany’s 2G-plus restrictions?

Many people - including tourists - are wondering exactly what they need to carry for Germany's new restrictions that favour Covid- boosted people. Here's what you should know.

A person getting their vaccination pass checked at a cafe in Düsseldorf.
A person getting their vaccination pass checked at a cafe in Düsseldorf under the new 2G-plus rules. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Henning Kaiser

What’s happened?

Last week the federal government and states agreed on tougher entry restrictions to get into cafes, restaurants and bars. The 2G-plus rules mean that people have to be vaccinated or recovered from Covid-19 and have a negative Covid test, or have had a booster shot. 

States are bringing in their own legislation on that, and many of them are extending the 2G-plus rule to almost all public places, including in leisure and cultural facilities. 

There are still a few unclear points, but we hope this information helps explain the current situation. 

What documents do I need to carry?

As with the previous 2G rules, the latest restrictions mean you will be stopped from entering a public place – like a restaurant – unless you show a number of documents. 

OPINION: The pandemic has revealed Germany’s deep obsession with rules and compliance

READ ALSO: What we know so far about Germany’s 2G-plus rules for restaurants

Vaccinated (geimpft)

You need to have proof that you are fully vaccinated – preferably with a QR code. That can be the EU digital vaccination certificate (either uploaded to the Corona-Warn or CovPass app) or the paper with the QR code. Other foreign digital vaccination passes – such as the NHS app from the UK – are also accepted. 

When it comes to people who were vaccinated abroad and don’t have a digital vaccination pass, things get a bit more tricky. 

If you are based in Germany and were vaccinated abroad you should be able to get an EU digital pass from a pharmacy. If you show them your documents (vaccine certificate with a vaccine approved in the EU, ID and possibly registration certificate or Anmeldung), they can convert it for you.

If you are not based in Germany – for instance if you are visiting as a tourist – you are technically not meant to get the EU digital vaccine certificate in Germany. 

The official line from the German government is that to get the digital certificate, you need to live, work or study in Germany.  However, some people have able to get it by trying different pharmacies. 

READ MORE: Visiting Germany – is it possible to get the EU digital vaccine certificate?

The Local has been reporting how some German states, such as Berlin, Baden-Württemberg and Saarland are phasing out paper proof like the international vaccination booklet and require a vaccination pass with a QR code. 

Some pharmacies are also now offering an alternative card to people who either don’t have a smartphone, or want a physical document proving their vaccination.

The Immunkarte, developed by a Leipzig start-up, is available either online or at about 7,500 partner pharmacies across Germany for just under €10.

READ MORE: How proving vaccinations in Germany changes in 2022

Tourists and visitors can still present the vaccination proof they were issued in their country (eg a CDC card from the United States).

It is usually accepted (Berlin for instance allows non-German residents to show proof of vaccination that doesn’t have a QR code). But keep in mind that some businesses could be super strict if they prefer to scan the QR code to allow entry. 

Booster shot (geboostert)

Under the 2G-plus rules, you will also need to show proof of being boosted – usually having three jabs. Currently about 45 percent of the German population has received a booster vaccination against Covid.

There is some debate over what being boosted actually means in Germany. For instance, the Health Ministry told us that people who’ve had the Johnson & Johnson single dose vaccine plus an mRNA shot, are technically not boosted as they require another shot three months later. 

But some Local readers say their J&J and top-up shot is accepted as being fully boosted.

According to broadcaster ZDF people who’ve had J&J and a single shot are accepted as being boosted in the states of Hamburg, Hesse, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate and Thuringia.

READ ALSO: What people who’ve had J&J in Germany need to know

States also handle vaccination breakthrough infections differently: while in Bavaria, Hamburg and North Rhine-Westphalia a Covid infection after two vaccinations leads to the status “boosted”, this regulation doesn’t seem to apply in Baden-Württemberg, Hesse, Saarland and Thuringia. Here, recovered people have to also get a booster jab after a breakthrough infection in order to be considered boosted.

There is also some debate over when you are counted as being booster under the 2G-plus rules following your booster shot. Most states say that you are boosted straight after you get your top-up vaccination, but according to Focus Online, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Schleswig-Holstein count people as being boosted for the 2G-plus rules 14 days after their booster shot.

A lot of it will depend on the operator of the restaurant or bar you’re trying to enter, which is not ideal. 

Hopefully these issues will be ironed out in the coming days as states bring in the rules. 

Covid-19 test (getestet)

If you have not yet received a booster vaccination, you need to show proof of a negative Covid-19 test. This usually has to be taken within the last 24 hours if it’s an antigen test, or 48 hours if it’s a PCR test. 

In Germany, rapid tests are free and there are many test centres in towns and cities. People are allowed one per week, but lots of places offer residents one per day.

You will usually receive the result of the test in digital format and you will have to show that along with your vaccination proof when entering a 2G-plus facility. 

You can find more information on test sites across Germany here.

ID (Ausweis)

As well as your vaccination proof, you will usually be asked for photo ID. That can be a passport, residence permit or health insurance card.

Recovery (genesen)

In Germany you are classed as “recovered” if you received a PCR test  or a similar test checked in a lab taken at least 28 days ago. It must also not be older than six months. However, if you have recovered and have been vaccinated, you can be given an EU digital certificate from the pharmacy or doctor.