Frequently asked questions
If you have any questions about the Vaccination Record, please contact us by telephone during the hours Mon.-Fri. from 09.00-16.00 and Saturdays from 09.00-14.00 or via email:
Current most frequently asked questions
I receive a message that the validity of a certificate is about to expire. What do I have to do?
The technical validity of the digital COVID certificates expires automatically after 365 days. If this is the case for you soon, you will receive a notification in the CovPass app 28 days before expiry.
In order to continue to prove your vaccination status, the certificate of your last vaccination as well as your recovery certificate must be renewed. You can reissue the certificates yourself in the app with just a few clicks. To do this, please update your CovPass app in advance in the app store. After the update, you will receive the corresponding functionality for reissuing the certificates in the CovPass app.
You will no longer need the old certificates. Please make sure that you only delete expired certificates, which are marked as expired/invalid.
Do I have to renew all expired certificates?
No, not all expired certificates need to be or can be renewed in the CovPass app. To continue to prove your vaccination status, only the certificate of your last vaccination and - if available - your convalescent certificate need to be updated after expiration.
Since older vaccination certificates (including those of the first vaccination) are no longer required, they cannot be renewed in the CovPass app.
Will I lose my vaccination status if one of my certificates expires?
Your vaccination status does not change when a certificate expires. You only need to reissue the corresponding certificate in the app to be able to prove your vaccination status via the CovPass app in the future. To do this, follow the instructions in the overview of your certificates.
Why can I not renew a certificate in the app?
- Only certificates relevant for your vaccination status can be renewed, such as booster vaccinations or recovery certificates.
- The certificate is still valid for more than 28 days.
- The certificate has already expired more than 90 days ago. In this case, reissuance is no longer possible within the app. Please contact a pharmacy to obtain a new certificate.
- Only certificates issued in Germany can be renewed via the CovPass app.
- The number of reissues is limited to three per certificate.
- Your app has not been updated to version 1.26. Please update it in the App Store.
Why do I get a message in the CovPass app that I should renew my certificate?
As of February 2022, certain certificates that provide evidence of a second vaccination will EU-wide no longer be issued with the number 2/2, but with the number 2/1. This concerns the following cases:
- Second vaccination after a first vaccination with Johnson & Johnson.
- Second vaccination after a recovery and a first vaccination (booster)
If you receive a corresponding message in your CovPass app asking you to renew your certificate, one of the above cases applies to you. Your deposited certificate does not comply with the current EU requirements for numbering certificates and should therefore be adjusted using the reissue function in the app. This is important so that your booster vaccination is recognized by the CovPassCheck app during examinations.
The reissue can be carried out a maximum of three times within one year (365 days) if there is an actual need.
After the successful renewal, both the old certificate (2/2) and the new certificate (2/1) are stored.
During the certificate renewal process different systems are involved in the background. Errors may occur. It may happen that an error with a digit is displayed in the app. For information on this, please contact our hotline: firstname.lastname@example.org
I have been vaccinated with Johnson & Johnson. What applies to me?
Basically, as with all other vaccines, the following applies to Johnson & Johnson: You need two vaccinations for basic immunization. Due to the highly contagious Omicron variant and the reduced primary protection provided by the vaccine against severe courses, a second vaccination with an mRNA vaccine is recommended.
In other EU countries, different regulations may apply with regard to Johnson & Johnson. Please inform yourself before departure about the respective applicable requirements for EU member states e.g. on: https://reopen.europa.eu/de.
I have had COVID-19 and have recovered. How can I prove that I have full immunity?
Since January 15, 2022, certificates of recovery within Germany and for entry into Germany are only valid for 90 days after the positive PCR test result.
If you would like to use the recovery certificate when entering other countries or when staying in other countries, please enquire about the regulations there.
Anyone who has been infected with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and can prove this with a positive PCR test result is entitled to a certificate of recovery. The PCR test must not be older than 90 days. The certificate of recovery is valid in Germany from the 28th day after the PCR test and for a period of 90 days after the PCR test.
You can obtain the digital recovery certificate in pharmacies, medical practices and health departments.
If you have not received a vaccination before recovery, you will need a single so-called recovery vaccination after the expiration of the recovery certificate to be considered basic immunized again (2G rule).
You can obtain the digital COVID vaccination certificate of the EU for the convalescent vaccination with the number 1/1 in pharmacies, medical practices, health departments or vaccination centers.
I was vaccinated twice and subsequently became ill and recovered.
Even after a complete COVID-19 vaccination and subsequent recovery, a third single vaccination (booster) is advisable. This is recommended from three months after infection.
How long is the digital vaccination certificate valid?
Validity according to EU Regulation 2021/2288
The EU Commission has set an EU-wide recognition period of at least 270 days for the EU digital vaccination certificate after completion of basic immunization. This will apply from February 1, 2022.
The certificate for a booster vaccination is valid indefinitely.
For those under the age of 18, the certificate for basic immunization is also valid indefinitely.
Validity in Germany
When used within Germany, EU digital vaccination certificates are valid indefinitely as of now.
Validity on entry into Germany
When entering Germany, the digital vaccination certificate of the EU for the basic immunization is displayed as invalid from the 271st day. This means that if the vaccination for the basic immunization was more than 270 days ago, a valid test or recovery certificate or proof of a booster vaccination must be presented for entry into Germany.
For those under 18, the basic immunization certificate is also valid indefinitely when entering Germany.
The recognition of the certificates abroad depends on the respective applicable requirements of the EU countries. Therefore, please inform yourself before departure at https://reopen.europa.eu/de.
Is the Digital Vaccination Record also valid abroad?
The EU COVID Digital Certificates for vaccination or recovery can be used EU countries and in many other non-EU countries.
Show the certificate with the QR code in the CovPass app or in paper form. The yellow vaccination certificate is also still valid as proof.
In the CovPass app, you can check without obligation whether your digital COVID certificates are valid before traveling. For this, the entry rules of the selected travel country are taken into account. Please note that these can change at any time at short notice.
Information on the corona measures and travel restrictions applicable in each European country can be found, among other places, at https://reopen.europa.eu/de. Updating is the responsibility of the respective countries.
Who is considered fully vaccinated in Germany?
In principle, two vaccinations must be proven in Germany.
Notwithstanding, a single dose of vaccine in conjunction with a proven recovery is sufficient in the following cases:
- Antibody test with proven Corona infection prior to single vaccination
- Positive test by nucleic acid detection (including PCR test) prior to receipt of single vaccination
- Positive test by nucleic acid detection (including PCR test) after receipt of individual vaccination, if 28 days have elapsed since testing was performed. This person is considered fully vaccinated from the 29th day after taking the positive test.
In the future, a new regulation will apply from 01.10.2022 according to § 22a Infection Protection Act (IfSG)8: According to this, three vaccine doses or, for example, two vaccinations and a proven recovery in the above sense will be required as a rule in the future.
Questions about the CovPass-App
How does the CovPass-App work?
With the CovPass app, you can provide secure, digital proof of COVID vaccinations or recovery from a COVID infection as needed.
The EU Digital COVID Certificate contains a QR code. Scan the QR code in the CovPass-App. The EU Digital COVID Certificate is then stored in the app. A QR code can be generated as proof of every single COVID vaccine dose administered. The QR codes are displayed in the app directly after being scanned. Please note that sufficient immunity is only achieved about 14 days after the last vaccine dose.
When the QR code is checked with the official CovPassCheck-App, only the information required for verification is displayed: the status of the certificate, and the certificate holder’s full name and date of birth. Present the QR code to verify your COVID status quickly and securely. Simply present the QR code in the CovPass app.
Using the CovPass app is voluntary.
Am I required to use the CovPass-App?
No. You can decide for yourself whether you want to use the CovPass-App. Using it is voluntary. The aim of the CovPass-App is to verify EU Digital COVID Certificates quickly and securely. You can delete the app at any time. If you delete the app, all of the information saved on the app is removed from your smartphone. Alternatively, you can prove your COVID immunity with the printed vaccination certificate.
Where can I download the CovPass-App?
The CovPass-App can be downloaded free of charge for iOS and Android from the Apple App Store, Google Play Store and the Huawei AppGallery.
Is the app available in English as well?
The language can be changed to English in the mobile phone settings.
Which smartphones support the CovPass-App?
The CovPass-App is supported by iOS version 12.0 and later and Android version 6.0 and later. Your smartphone must have a camera in order to scan the QR codes.
The app has been developed with the systems used by the majority of the population in mind.
What QR code can I scan with the CovPass-App?
The CovPass-App can only scan vaccination certificates (QR codes) that meet European specifications. These certificates are entitled ‘EU DIGITAL COVID VACCINATION CERTIFICATE’ or ‘EU COVID-19 VACCINATION CERTIFICATE’. They are issued by vaccination centres, doctors’ practices and pharmacies. Other QR codes that are issued in connection with COVID-19 vaccinations (e.g. invitation codes for a vaccination appointment, proof of vaccination that does not meet European certificate specifications) are not designed for the CovPass-App and cannot be recognised by the app.
Why is my QR code not scanning?
- Make sure that you have presented the QR code on the vaccination certificate entitled ‘EU DIGITAL COVID VACCINATION CERTIFICATE’ or ‘EU COVID-19 VACCINATION CERTIFICATE’. You can get this certificate in vaccination centres, doctors’ practices or pharmacies.
- Make sure that your smartphone can scan the QR code properly. Move the phone back and forth and change the distance from the camera to the QR code. It often helps to increase the distance.
- Stay in a bright environment or turn on the flashlight function in the app.
- Make sure the sheet is flat on the table and has no bulge or crease on the QR code.
- Make sure that the app is up to date (update it in the app store if necessary and then restart it).
- Check your operating system: the CovPass-App is supported by iOS version 12.0 and later and Android version 6.0 and later.
- Have you already scanned a certificate before and then deleted it again? In that case, please delete the app and reinstall it. Now scanning the code should work again.
- Make sure you are using the CovPass-App and NOT the CovPassCheck-App.
Can I store certificates in the app for more than one person?
Digital Vaccination Records and recovery certificates for children, partners and other relatives can be stored together on one smartphone.
What personal data is stored in the CovPass-App and in the QR code?
All important COVID immunity information is stored in the CovPass-App for a vaccination certificate: the certificate holder’s full name and date of birth, the disease targeted (COVID), vaccine, product, manufacturer, dose number, date of vaccination, country and issuer of the technical certificate and the unique ID number of the certificate (UVCI).
All important test information is stored for a test certificate: the certificate holder’s full name and date of birth, the disease targeted (being tested for), type of test, product name, test manufacturer, date and time of test sample collection, the result of the test, testing centre or facility, country of testing, certificate issuer and certificate ID.
All important recovery information is stored for a recovery certificate: the certificate holder’s full name and date of birth, the disease from which the holder has recovered, date of the holder’s first positive test result, country of testing, certificate issuer, validity and certificate ID.
The QR code contains the same data as the EU Digital COVID Certificate. When the QR code is checked with the CovPassCheck app, however, only the status of the certificate and the certificate holder’s full name and date of birth are displayed.
Where is my data stored?
When the EU Digital COVID Certificates are created, your data is collected once by the issuing body (vaccination centre, doctor’s practice, pharmacy) and transmitted to the RKI for signing. The data is then deleted immediately. When you add the EU Digital COVID Certificate to the app, your personal data is only managed locally on your smartphone.
Why is the QR code only valid as proof of full immunity two weeks after vaccination?
In Germany, individuals are considered immune if they have received a COVID-19 vaccine approved in the EU and at least 14 days have passed since the final vaccine dose was administered. (For exceptions concerning individuals who have recovered from COVID, see https://www.rki.de/SharedDocs/FAQ/COVID-Impfen/gesamt.html) (only available in German).
For example, if you received the last required COVID vaccine dose on 1 June, full COVID immunity is only achieved on 16 June.
My full immunity is displayed as incomplete in the app, even though more than two weeks have passed since my last vaccination. What can I do?
There are various reasons and solutions for this:
- Do you have an iPhone? Then it could be a technical problem, which can be easily solved by closing and reopening the app.
- Have you received two vaccinations? Make sure that „Erstimpfung/Wiederimpfung: 2/2" is written on the certificate of the second vaccination. Only then the app can display a complete vaccination status. Otherwise, ask for the certificate to be reissued.
- Have you received a single vaccination (so-called "Genesenenimpfung")? In your digital vaccination certificate it must say "Erstimpfung/Wiederimpfung: 1/1“. Only then the app can display a complete vaccination status. Otherwise, ask for the certificate to be reissued.
- Did you actually scan the certificate of the 2nd vaccination? If only the certificate of the 1st vaccination is available in the app, the vaccination protection will be displayed as incomplete.
- Check if your name and date of birth match exactly on both printed vaccination certificates. Does one contain a typo or more first names than the other for example? If so, the app has created a separate "card" for each vaccination. The app interprets the different certificate as that of another person. If you see two or more dots underneath the certificate on the home screen, swipe left to bring up more cards. Most likely the certificate with full vaccination protection is there. Have a possibly faulty certificate reissued.
How can I scan the QR code if my smartphone camera is broken or has a poor resolution?
Unfortunately, in this case you cannot scan the QR code with your device. Just use a printout of the vaccination certificate instead of the CovPass-App to prove your vaccination status if needed.
How is misuse of my data prevented?
The EU Digital COVID Certificates can only be issued by authorised persons. The certificates are secured against manipulation and falsification by means of a cryptographic signature. An ID document must also be presented when the EU Digital COVID Certificate is being verified.
Is my data removed when the CovPass-App is deleted?
Yes. All of your data stored in the CovPass-App is completely removed when the application is deleted.
Can I present the QR code even without an internet connection?
Yes. As soon as the QR code is displayed in the CovPass-App, you can present it at any time without an internet connection.
Why do I only see one QR code on the start screen of the CovPass app, even though I have stored multiple certificates for myself?
The certificates in the app are displayed according to a specified order. For example, a valid certificate is always displayed with priority on the home screen.
What data is displayed when the QR code is checked?
For verification, you can present the QR code with the CovPass-App. After the QR code is scanned in the CovPassCheck-App, the following information is displayed for a vaccination or recovery certificate: the validity of the certificate, the full name and date of birth.
What do I do if I lose or change my smartphone?
If the smartphone is lost or changed, the EU Digital COVID Certificate must be uploaded to the app again. To do this, download the CovPass-App on your new smartphone and scan the certificate again.
Alternatively, you can prove your immunity with printed records or the yellow vaccination record.
What about people who do not have a smartphone?
Individuals without a smartphone can prove their COVID immunity with the printed EU Digital COVID Certificate or the yellow vaccination record. The EU Digital COVID Certificates for recovery and COVID testing can also be presented as printouts.
Do I need to keep the printouts of the EU Digital COVID Certificate?
It is advisable to keep the printouts so that you can rescan them if you lose or change your smartphone.
In addition, you can also show the printout as proof of your vaccination protection should your smartphone be inoperable at the time or should you not have it to hand.
Can I download my certificate as a PDF?
You can download your certificate stored in the CovPass app as a PDF file at any time by clicking on the button "create EU printout" and print it out if required.
Questions about the CovPassCheck-App
How does the CovPassCheck-App work?
The CovPassCheck app is for individuals who wish to verify the validity of an EU Digital COVID Certificate in the legally defined situations, digitally and in compliance with data protection regulations.
To do so, the person whose COVID status is being checked presents the QR code in the CovPass app, the Corona-Warn-App or the printed EU Digital COVID Certificate. The checking person scans the QR-code with the CovPassCheck app and immediately sees if the person being verified holds a valid certificate for COVID vaccination, recovery from COVID infection or a negative COVID test result.
Only the status of the certificate, the certificate holder’s full name and date of birth are visible. In the case test certificates, the time of sampling is also displayed. The CovPassCheck app processes the QR code only in the smartphone's memory and does not store any data.
An ID document is also required for comparison against the certificate data.
Where can I download the CovPassCheck-App?
The CovPassCheck-App can be downloaded free of charge for iOS and Android from the App Store, Google Play Store and the Huawei AppGallery.
What are the system requirements for the CovPassCheck-App?
The CovPassCheck-App is supported by iOS version 12.0 and later and Android version 6.0 and later. Your smartphone needs a camera in order to make full use of the CovPassCheck-App.
Can I check the validity of certificates without an internet connection?
Yes, in principle it is possible to scan and check the QR codes in offline mode. However, please use the CovPassCheck app regularly with an Internet connection so that the checking rules and the list of trusted certificate issuers can update.
Questions about the vaccination certificate service
As a doctor, how do I issue a recovery certificate?
Any individual who has been infected with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and can verify this with a positive PCR test is eligible for a recovery certificate. The PCR test must be no older than 90 days. The certificate is valid from the 28th day after the positive PCR test.
If more than 90 days have passed, no recovery certificate can be issued.
Instructions for creating the certificate can be found here: Materials for download.
How do medical practices and dentists receive the access details for the certificate service?
Medical practices are connected centrally via the telematics infrastructure (TI) of the Associations of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (Kassenärztliche Vereinigungen, KV) of the Federal States. You receive the access details from your KV.
Dental practices that cannot issue certificates via the PVS system have the option of doing so by downloading the desktop client. This requires access to the telematics infrastructure, as well as a working internet connection. The associated manuals can be found under Materials for download.
How do pharmacies receive the access details for the certificate service?
Pharmacies are provided a solution through the association portal of the German Association of Pharmacists (DAV). Please get in touch with the responsible contact person or the Bundesvereinigung Deutscher Apothekerverbände e.V. (Federal Union of German Associations of Pharmacists).
How do hospitals recieve access data for the certificate service?
Hospitals that wish to vaccinate more than their own staff also have the option of issuing vaccination and recovery certificates by downloading the desktop client. The prerequisite for this is access to the telematics infrastructure and a functioning Internet connection. The request for connection must be made via the collective mailbox email@example.com of the Deutsche Krankenhaus TrustCenter und Informationsverarbeitung GmbH (DKTIG). For more information on downloading the web application, see Materials for download
Can we use materials from the website?
You are very welcome to use all videos and other materials in connection with vaccinations and certificates.
As an issuer, how can I be sure that the vaccination record is an authentic document?
After a COVID vaccine is administered, a sticker for the batch is affixed to the yellow vaccination record next to the signature and stamp. The tool cannot verify whether the vaccination is authentic. Vaccinations are not recorded centrally in Germany.
What ist the Desktop Client?
The Desktop Client is a desktop application for medical practices that simplifies the issuing of the EU COVID Digital Certificates. The patient's personal data is automatically transferred to the vaccination certificate software via health card. Access to the telematics infrastructure is required.
Detailed instructions for use can be found on this page: Material for download
How do I install and use the vaccination certificate service?
Step-by-step instructions for installation, registration and use, as well as further informational material, can be found for download on the following page:
What data do I need to record in the vaccination certificate service?
Enter the following data in the input fields: First name(s), surname, date of birth.
The name must be written exactly the same way it appears in the presented ID.
Select the following fields: vaccine, date of vaccination and vaccine dose. Additional information such as the disease targeted, product, manufacturer, country, overall number of doses and issuer of the technical certificate are automatically added by the vaccination certificate service. No personal data is permanently stored at a central location.
As a company doctor, how can I use the vaccination certificate service?
As a company doctor, you have two ways to issue certificates of vaccination and recovery:
Interface to RKI certificate service from the separate standard software system. The specific technical requirements for this must be clarified with IBM Germany and are documented on GitHub GitHub.
Preconfigured standard systems that already have an interface to the RKI certificate service.
In both cases you need an official unique ID number as a vaccination clinic. You receive this through your professional association or from Bundesdruckerei.
More information can be found at https://digitaler-impfnachweis-app.de/en/company-doctors.
What is the Digital Vaccination Record?
The EU Digital COVID Certificate is a way of documenting COVID vaccinations and recoveries from COVID infection, and conveniently verifying them on your smartphone. It can be issued by a vaccination center, medical practice, pharmacy or health department.
The EU COVID Digital Certificates can be added to the CovPass app by scanning the QR codes. The CovPass app manages the certificates locally on the user's smartphone.
The app can be downloaded free of charge from the usual app stores.
Who is providing the Digital Vaccination Record?
The Digital Vaccination Record is a project of the Federal Ministry of Health. The application was developed by UBIRCH, IBM Germany, govdigital and Bechtle. The Robert Koch Institute is the publisher responsible for the application design and for careful inspection to ensure that data protection and data security requirements are met.
How do adults and children get the digital EU Digital COVID Certificate?
All vaccinated citizens can receive an EU Digital COVID Certificate if desired. This certificate is issued in vaccination centres, medical practices, health departments or pharmacies. Bring proof of your received COVID vaccination(s) or your yellow vaccination record and an ID document to receive your certificate. A separate certificate with a QR code is issued for every single vaccine dose.
On www.mein-apothekenmanager.de you fill find participating pharmacies.
Recovery certificates are issued by medical practices, health departments and pharmacies.
Test certificates are available at test centres and medical laboratories. These can be converted into EU certificates via the Corona-Warn-App.
Children must identify themselves with their own official photo ID (student ID, children's ID card or children's passport) or with their birth certificate and their parents' identification documents.
Will the yellow vaccination record continue to be valid?
Yes. The yellow vaccination record of the World Health Organisation (WHO) is an internationally recognised document that you can generally continue to use as proof of your vaccinations.
In individual cases, the federal states make independent regulations according to which only the digital proof of vaccination (including the paper form) is still accepted. Therefore, please inform yourself about the current regulations of the respective federal states.
Do I have to pay for the vaccination certificate in a pharmacy?
Vaccination certificates are issued free of charge for citizens. If a pharmacy asks for money for this, this should be reported to the responsible Apothekerkammer (chamber of pharmacists).
Is a central vaccination register planned?
No, a central register is not planned. Your certificates can be stored on your smartphone on a voluntary basis. Anyone can decide for themselves whether and when they delete this data.
Where can I find information about COVID vaccination?
Is the implementation of the digital COVID certificates financially supported by the EU?
The implementation of the digital COVID certificates is financially supported by the EU's Emergency Support Instrument (ESI- European Structural and Investment Fund).
The Emergency Support Instrument was created by the EU Commission in the course of the Corona crisis and bundles measures and resources to quickly respond to the immediate consequences of the pandemic.
Questions about the technical details
What data is collected and processed?
No data is stored centrally concerning the Digital Vaccination Record.
To create the EU Digital COVID Certificate in the vaccination centres, doctors’ practices and pharmacies, the minimum required data is collected and encoded, such as the certificate holder’s full name and date of birth, the vaccine, date of vaccination and vaccine dose. Additional information such as the disease targeted, product, manufacturer, country, overall number of doses and issuer of the technical certificate are automatically added by the vaccination certificate service. The data is then deleted immediately.
How is the structure of the QR code defined?
The QR code is a CBOR web token containing the certificate with personal information, such as name and date of birth, and vaccination information. The exact structure is defined by a guideline of the EU eHealth Group.
Why is "itunes.apple.com" listed in the iOS 15.2 privacy report?
When the CovPass app and the CovPassCheck app are started, a check is carried out to determine whether a new version is available. For this purpose, direct communication is established with the app store.
Who signs the data?
The data is digitally signed on behalf of the Robert Koch Institute in an especially secure system from UBIRCH. Only authorised persons and data collection systems have access to it. UBIRCH does not store any personal data.
Why has an open source approach been used?
We believe that the success of the solution depends directly on the acceptance and trust of the individuals using it.
The selected open source approach allows for the entire source code for the app and infrastructure to be accessed freely and without restrictions. In doing so, we hope to offer the transparency needed to cultivate a solid foundation of trust. The open source approach also allows the public and the developer community to actively contribute to the success of the solution, in the form of reviews and pull requests, for example.
Is disclosing the source code in this open source approach not a cybersecurity risk?
The open source community actually makes the software more secure because the source code is open and available, and anyone interested can download it and check it line by line.
We believe that lack of transparency does not guarantee security. This is why we are choosing an open source approach.
Why GitHub and not some other platform?
We consider GitHub to be a very well established and appropriately respected platform for open source projects. GitHub is the world’s largest open source platform with over 40 million registered users and more than 100 million repositories, of which >30 million are publicly accessible.
Take part on GitHub: https://github.com/digitaler-impfnachweis/
Anyone who does not wish to create a GitHub account can still view the code without an account.
Update: June 17, 2022