Tuesday, February 23, 2021
If the vaccination certificate is lost
Germany is looking for the vaccination certificate! This slogan is known from an information campaign, but it only elicits a contrite smile from general practitioner Klaus Lorenzen. “Somehow the saying is funny – but it’s also sad,” says the family doctor from Langebrück near Dresden. Because Lorenzen knows from experience how difficult it can be to get old vaccination data back – and that this effort is sometimes in vain.
“It is a personal document that should not be lost,” says Lorenzen about the vaccination certificate. But that’s exactly what happens often enough. Some scramble for vaccination cards when moving. Others forget that they left it in a safe deposit box or put it in their family chronicle.
The family doctor says that he has got used to drawing the attention of patients without a vaccination certificate to the places where other of his patients have shown up in the end.
Supplements are possible – if the data is available
Of course, a family doctor can also issue a new vaccination card. And, with the consent of the patient, he can also request corresponding patient data from the previous family doctor. “If we’re lucky, the vaccination dates are included,” says Lorenzen, who is the deputy chairman of the Saxon Family Doctors’ Association. This data could then be added to the new vaccination certificate. This works particularly well for young adults who switch to a family doctor, because the pediatrician usually has the complete vaccination history in the system, says Lorenzen.
The problem: some important vaccinations were taken much longer ago. And who still knows if and when and against what they were vaccinated in the 1980s or 1990s? “If I don’t have any documents and they can no longer be found, I should actually have to do another basic immunization,” says Lorenzen. Refreshing is not enough.
The Standing Vaccination Commission (STIKO) at the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) also advises: If there is no information about vaccinations that are recommended – i.e. indicated – for the patient, it should be made up. “Only documented vaccinations are considered carried out.”
Digital solutions could help
The e-patient file launched at the beginning of the year may help: From 2022, health insured persons will also be able to electronically store their vaccination data there. This way, this information can no longer disappear in any box with your passport. Some health insurance companies already offer an e-vaccination card.
The digital and electronically storable vaccination certificate is “unfortunately still in its infancy,” says Klaus Lorenzen. One problem with this is that each doctor’s practice requires a separate purchase of an additional vaccination module for use together with the practice management system.
How is it actually with the Covid-19 vaccination?
According to Lorenzen, patients with a Covid-19 vaccination currently always receive a vaccination certificate. This is an A4 sheet of paper on which the first and second vaccinations against the virus are confirmed. Lorenzen, who has already vaccinated against Covid-19 in nursing homes, also always enters this in the vaccination pass – if the patient finds it.
According to the Bavarian Ministry of Health, “the corona vaccination, like any other vaccination, is documented in the vaccination card or in a vaccination certificate.” This corresponds to the requirements for vaccination documentation in the Infection Protection Act.