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Germany Rolls Out First Digital EU “Vaccine Passport”

After the EU unveiled its plans for re-admitting vaccinated tourists from North America and elsewhere last month, the Continent’s largest economy, Germany, has officially started rolling out its digital “vaccine passport” on Thursday, the AP report.

What’s more, German Health Minister Jens Spahn said Thursday that starting this week, vaccination centers, doctors’ practices, and pharmacies will gradually start giving out digital passes to fully vaccinated people. The CovPass will let users download proof of their coronavirus vaccination status onto a smartphone app, allowing them easy access to restaurants, museums, or other venues that require proof of immunization.

People who have already been fully vaccinated in recent weeks with either get a letter with a QR-code they can scan with their phones, or they can contact their doctors or pharmacies to retroactively get the digital pass, Spahn said.

“The goal is that this certificate can also be used in Helsinki, Amsterdam, or Mallorca,” Spahn told reporters in Berlin. People who have already been fully vaccinated in recent weeks will either get a letter with a QR-code they can scan with their phones, or they can contact their doctors or pharmacies to retroactively get the digital pass. “By doing so, we in the European Union are setting a cross-border standard that doesn’t exist elsewhere in the world yet,” he said, adding that the digital vaccination pass is an important step for the revival of international tourist travel.

The country’s chief public health agency, the Robert Koch Institute, reported Thursday that 47% of the population, or about 39.1MM people, have been vaccinated at least once, while almost 24% or 19.9MM people, are fully vaccinated. On Wednesday, almost 1.3MM people received a vaccine jab, the second-highest daily number since the country started its vaccination campaign late last year.

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