July 28, 2021

Certificate starts today: This is how the digital vaccination certificate works


As of: 14.06.2021 4:29 a.m.

The digital proof for corona vaccinations is starting. As of today, the first pharmacies and doctors will be issuing QR codes for those who have been vaccinated. All important questions about the digital vaccination certificate at a glance.

From Dominik Lauck,

What exactly is the digital vaccination record?

With the digital vaccination certificate, the full corona vaccination protection can be proven via smartphone. The digital certificate is a voluntary addition to the yellow paper vaccination book that is still valid. The proof is stored in an app on the smartphone via QR code. In addition to the vaccinations, negative test results and survived infections will soon also be documented in the app. If you don’t have a smartphone, you can print out the vaccination certificate and use it.

Which app do I need for this?

To start with, the digital vaccination certificate can either be saved and displayed locally in the CovPass app published by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) or in the official Corona warning app (from version 2.3) also published by the RKI. The difference: unlike the Corona Warning App (CWA), the CovPass app has no contact tracking function. The CWA has been downloaded more than 28 million times so far, the CovPass app has only been available for a few days. From next Wednesday, the vaccination certificate can also be displayed in the Luca app.

How do I get the digital vaccination certificate?

In future, you will receive the vaccination certificate in the form of a QR code at the vaccination center or doctor’s office immediately after the vaccination has been completed. The code is usually printed out on paper and can then be read in with a smartphone.

The more than 20 million citizens who are already fully vaccinated can receive the digital proof later. Who is in Vaccination center has had a vaccination and will receive a QR code by post or email in the coming days.

Anyone who has been vaccinated in a vaccination center should also receive the digital vaccination certificate retrospectively without taking any action. All others must contact their doctor or pharmacist.

Image: dpa

Who in a doctor’s office has been vaccinated, can contact them and ask for a digital certificate that has been generated at a later date. To do this, the yellow paper vaccination booklet and identity card must be presented.

Also a few Pharmacies want to offer this – this is especially intended for fully vaccinated people. However, only a few pharmacies are able to do so at the start, as the industry association announced.

The digital certificates are labeled “EU-COVID-19 vaccination certificate”. Other QR codes that are also issued in connection with Covid-19 vaccinations – such as invitation codes for a vaccination appointment or vaccination certificates that do not comply with European certificate requirements – are not designed for verification in the CovPass app and are therefore not recognized by it.

Where is the digital vaccination certificate valid?

The digital vaccination certificate is accepted nationwide – also in the other EU member states. However, there will not be a widespread start immediately. In many places, the technical requirements are still lacking and the exact technical processes are still unclear. From July onwards, it should be possible to use the digital passport for cross-border travel in the EU. According to the EU Commission, eight member states currently issue the digital vaccination certificate – Bulgaria, Denmark, Greece, Croatia, Lithuania, Poland, Spain and the Czech Republic.

Starting signal for the digital vaccination certificate

Ingrid Bertram, WDR, daily topics 10:30 p.m., 10.6.2021

Which data is stored in the digital vaccination certificate?

Name and date of birth are stored as personal data in the digital certificate, and the vaccination date, name of the vaccine and the batch number are recorded. This data is only saved locally on the smartphone. To create the vaccination certificate, it is necessary that the data is collected once by the vaccination center and transmitted to the RKI for signature. This data is immediately deleted there.

Do I still need the yellow vaccination book?

The digital vaccination pass is a voluntary, supplementary offer to the vaccination book. If you don’t want it, you can still use the printed yellow vaccination booklet. Especially in the beginning, it is advisable to take the paper vaccination book with you in addition to the app, in case you want or have to prove your vaccination protection somewhere.

What advantages do I have with the digital vaccination certificate?

The digital vaccination certificate can serve as proof of relaxed corona restrictions and should also make traveling easier. The federal states or the individual EU member states determine which advantages there are in detail.

How is the digital vaccination certificate verified?

There is also an app for this, the CovPass Check verification application. This allows restaurant operators, for example, to quickly scan the QR code from the CovPass to check whether the guests have complete vaccination protection or a valid quick test or are considered to have recovered. You will only see the vaccination status and the name of the guest, which you have to compare with your identity card or another ID document. However, you cannot see whether a guest was sick with Corona.

A verification app can be used to read the digital vaccination certificate.

Image: dpa

What does the digital vaccination certificate cost?

The digital vaccination card is free. However, pharmacies and doctors each receive EUR 18 remuneration for the subsequent creation of digital certificates from taxpayers’ money. According to the taxpayers’ association, this will cost around 50 million euros in total.

Are further vaccinations stored in the digital vaccination certificate?

Initially, only the corona vaccination can be saved. However, it should also be possible to digitally record other vaccinations from next year.

On which smartphones is the digital vaccination card available?

In contrast to the official Corona warning app, the CovPass app is not only offered for iPhones from Apple and Android smartphones with Google Play Services, but also for smartphones from the Chinese tech giant Huawei. Because the app works without Google services, the technology embargo imposed by the USA on the Chinese does not apply. The CovPass app can be downloaded free of charge for iPhones from the Apple App Store, for Android phones it is available from the Google Play Store and for Huawei smartphones from the Huawei AppGallery. The iOS 12 (or newer) operating system is required on Apple devices; at least the Android 6 operating system must be installed on Android devices.

Who developed the CovPass app?

A consortium led by the US group IBM has developed the German CovPass app. It had been commissioned by the Federal Ministry of Health. An interface was created so that such national apps also work across the EU. SAP and the Deutsche Telekom subsidiary T-Systems were commissioned with the technical implementation of this networking. Both have already developed the Corona warning app and are behind the technical linking of such apps on a European level.