Digital apps provide additional proof of vaccination status

This article previously appeared in the  Stuttgart Citizen.

Ansbach military community members now have an additional, voluntary means of proving vaccination status with the free ‘CovPass’ or ‘Corona Warn’ apps published by the Robert Koch Institute, Germany’s equivalent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The official, U.S.-issued CDC vaccination record card is considered legally valid proof of vaccination status in Germany. It is widely accepted at locations which require a negative test or proof of vaccination for entry or service. However, community members who were vaccinated on post can import their vaccination status into either of these official apps as additional means of proof on their personal devices.

Please note that the CDC vaccination card is the official U.S. proof of vaccination and is legally valid and recognized throughout Europe. This information is provided simply for the convenience and situational awareness of community members. Neither U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach, nor U.S. Army Health Clinic Ansbach, are involved in the digital vaccination certificate process or can provide support for it. Apps are for use on personal devices only.

The process begins with finding a nearby Apotheke (Germany pharmacy) which offers digital transcription of vaccination records; the German Pharmacists Association offers a search function at http://mein-apothekenmanager.de/ — enter town or zip code (Postleitzahl, or PLZ), which is 91522 for Ansbach – and select “Digitales Impfzertifikat/Digital Vaccination Certificate” under “Serviceleistung/Service” to search and generate a list.

Bring your CDC vaccination card and official identification (passport, driver’s license, DoD ID, etc.) to the pharmacy, and they will provide a free paper certificate with a QR code for each dose of vaccine received. If, for some reason, the pharmacy is unable to provide the certificate with the provided documentation, try a different one.

You will then scan these codes into the ‘CovPass’ or ‘Corona Warn’ app. These apps are not currently available on U.S. app stores, so users may need to temporarily switch app store countries. Instructions are below. Ensure the publisher of the app is “Robert-Koch-Institut” and be vigilant to avoid downloading similarly named apps.

For your convenience, these are the official listings for each app and store:

Corona Warn (Android)                 CovPass (Android)

Corona Warn (iOS)                          CovPass (iOS)

 

Editor’s Note: Transcribing a vaccination card into digital format is completely voluntary for U.S. personnel. The CDC vaccination card remains widely accepted.


Downloading with iPhone

  1. If you have subscriptions, the easiest way to prevent disruption is to create a new Apple ID with Germany as the country.  Once you have a new Apple ID account, you can switch between them using the following procedures:
    1. Go to ‘Settings’
    2. Tap on Your Name/Account. This is the first item in the list, will say Your Name, AppleID, iCloud, etc.
    3. Tap on Media & Purchases
    4. Now there are two paths.
      1. If you’re on iOS 14.5  
        1. In the dialogue box that opens, click on the little blue person icon in the top left corner (this is the where the ‘Sign Out’ option is located in iOS 14).
        2. At the bottom of the screen, tap ‘Sign Out of Store.’
        3. You can now sign back in using a different Apple ID
      2. If you’re on iOS 14.6 
        1. In the dialogue box that opens, it will say ‘Sign Out’
        2. Tap ‘Sign Out’
    5. That’s it—now you can sign out of the AppStore on iOS 14. This works on the iPhone and iPad.
  2. If you don’t have subscriptions and don’t need an additional Apple ID:
    1. In the App Store on your Mac, choose Store > View My Account, then click View Information.
    2. In the Apple ID Summary area, click Change Country or Region.
    3. Click the pop-up menu, choose a country or region, then follow the onscreen instructions.

Downloading with Android

Android users can use multiple Google accounts on their phone/Play Store at the same time. That is, a user can maintain both a primary Google account set to the U.S. and a secondary account set to Germany, switching back and forth as needed for easy access to both app stores, while being able to use all apps. It is not recommended to switch a primary account from the U.S. to Germany, because the user will lose access to the U.S. app store; moreover, regions can only be changed once every 365 days.

Within the Google Play Store:

  1. Tap your account in the upper-right corner, then expand your account information tab using the small down-arrow
  2. Tap on “add another account” to register a new Google account for the Germany Region
  3. You can then switch back and forth in Play Store by tapping the account names
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