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HEALTH

Yellow booklets: How proving vaccinations in Germany changes in 2022

Some German states have started phasing out the yellow vaccine booklet.

Yellow booklets: How proving vaccinations in Germany changes in 2022
Yellow vaccine booklets are being increasingly phased out in favour of digital alternatives. Photo by DPA.

More German states could be on course to phase out the traditional yellow vaccine booklet in 2022.

German doctors typically write in and sign them whenever one of their patients receives a vaccine for any disease, not just COVID-19.

However, the country’s unprecedented campaign to vaccinate its population against Covid has brought up fresh concerns that the booklets are easy to forge—with hundreds of fakes recently discovered in Bremen.

Both Baden-Württemberg and Berlin have stopped accepting them as proof of COVID-19 vaccination to enter venues, instead requiring digital QR codes. As 2022 began, Saarland followed suit—with the possibility of more federal states gradually phasing them out.

What are the alternatives to the yellow vaccine booklet?

When someone gets vaccinated for COVID-19 in Germany, they receive a QR code they can enter into a variety of apps, storing important information about what type of vaccine they got and when.

The QR code can then get scanned when they enter venues like gyms, restaurants, or theatres—or when travelling within the EU.

Commonly used apps include the country’s Corona-Warn-App and CovPass, but some pharmacies are now offering an alternative card to people who either don’t have a smartphone, or simply 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 slightly less than €10.

READ ALSO: How the rules of the EU Covid certificate for travel will change from February

For non-Covid vaccines, many German health insurers have begun offering electronic patient records that doctors can now log their vaccines into. The ePA can be accessed through health insurance apps and most recently, through desktop computer applications.

Member comments

  1. Good news. I’m struggling with smartphone and have applied for this new card. Cost €9,90 but better option than paper and with 3 jabs hope it will allow me to travel this year.

  2. “When someone gets vaccinated for COVID-19 in Germany, they receive a QR code they can enter into a variety of apps, storing important information about what type of vaccine they got and when.”

    This is false. Many if not most of us Americans are vaccinated on base in Germany or back home in the USA before coming over for deployment. We have to show our CDC cards to get the QR codes and it isn’t always easy. This whole thing is a huge mess and even when people do everything right (vaccinated and boostered), they can still be treated like 2nd or 3rd class citizens in the country they are living in. Unacceptable.

    1. Hi Lyssa77 thanks for your comment. We’ve heard a lot of similar issues and have contacted the Health Ministry several times to ask about it. Really is a big problem.

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For members

HEALTH

The vocab you need for a trip to the dentist in Germany

Going to the dentist can be daunting at the best of times and being unsure of the language can make things ten times worse. We’ve put together a guide of the German words and phrases you need to help take some of the pain away.

The vocab you need for a trip to the dentist in Germany

When you arrive at the dentist, you’ll usually be asked if you’re gesetzlich or privat versichert (if you have state or private health insurance) and asked to present your health insurance card. However, for most procedures, you will still have to pay something extra on top. 

The most common reason for a trip to the dentist (Zahnarzt) is having eine Vorsorgeuntersuchung (check-up) or a cleaning appointment (eine Zahnreinigung or eine Prophylaxe) which most dentists recommend having twice a year.

Most health insurers won’t reimburse the full cost of teeth cleaning – so make sure you check beforehand with your Krankenkasse which costs are covered.

In a cleaning appointment, the dentist will remove plaque (der Zahnbelag) and check the health of your teeth (die Zähne) and gums (das Zahnfleisch). If they tell you that they see Karies (tooth decay) then you may be told to come back for another appointment to get a filling (eine Zahnfüllung or eine Plombe).

READ ALSO: Everything you need to know about making a doctor’s appointment in Germany

They will certainly remind you at the end of the appointment to use Zahnseide (dental floss) on a daily basis (täglich) and also recommend that you use Interdentalbürsten (interdental brushes) for cleaning in between the teeth.

In the chair

When you actually get into the hot seat, you will be usually asked to do certain things by your dentist or dental assistant (Zahntechniker) so they can do what they need to do.

The first thing you’ll usually be asked to do is ausspülen bitte – to rinse your mouth with mouthwash (die Mundspülung) usually in a plastic cup in a little sink next to the dental chair. They might ask you to keep the liquid in your mouth for a certain number of seconds until they tell you to ausspucken (spit it out).

A woman undergoes a dental examination. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/dpa-tmn | Markus Scholz

When you’re lying down, you’ll inevitably be told Mund öffnen bitte or aufmachen bitte (open your mouth) and likewise, you might be asked to zumachen (close) your mouth at some point. Other typical instructions in the dentist’s chair are: Mundlocker lassen (relax your mouth), Kopf zu mir drehen (turn your head towards me) and Kinn nach oben (chin upwards).

Types of dental issues

There are numerous complaints that could compel you to pay a visit to the dentist, but one of the most common is having a filling (eine Zahnfüllung) or having a crown (eine Zahnkrone).Your health insurance will cover the cost of the most basic kind of material for filling up a cavity, but you will be presented with a price list (or if you aren’t – ask) for the different types of materials for crowns or fillings.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: How dental care works in Germany

Another common complaint is having to have a tooth removed (eine Zahnextraction) – a particularly common procedure for a wisdom tooth (der Weisheitszahn). A more serious extraction procedure is a root canal treatment (eine Wuzelkanalbehandlung).

If you have this kind of procedure, you will normally be offered a local anaesthetic (örtliche Betäubung or Lokalanästhesie) and you may also need an X-Ray (ein Röntgen).

More useful phrases and vocabulary

Braces – (die) Zahnspangen

Sensitive teeth – empfindliche

ZähneTooth pain – (der) Zahnschmerz

Dentures – (die) ProtheseI have toothache when I chew/drink – Ich habe Zahnschmerzen beim kauen/trinken

I have light/strong pain on this tooth – Ich habe leichte/starke Schmerzen an diesem Zahn

My gums are inflamed – Ich habe eine Entzündung am Zahnfleisch

I am nervous about the treatment – Ich habe Angst vor der Behandlung

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