How to get your Covid-19 ‘health pass’ if vaccinated abroad (travelers, French residents, citizens in France)Reading Time: 6 minutes
Last Updated on October 15, 2021
Disclaimer: As COVID regulations and guidelines are rapidly changing in France, please note that these instructions may or may not be valid at the time of reading this. This procedure applies to French residents and citizens who may have been vaccinated abroad who are living in France and have a permanent address and a French SSN.
UPDATE AS OF EARLY OCTOBER 2021: travelers can now use this website for help with obtaining the EU standard QR Code: https://www.demarches-simplifiees.fr/commencer/passe-sanitaire-etrangers
The application process takes 5 minutes to fill out and results vary between 45 mins to 1-2 weeks.
You may already know that you need a “health pass” to enter/travel to France and the EU right now. If you’re traveling, the official word is that you can get by with your physical CDC vaccination card. If you live in France, here are instructions on how to convert your US vaccination into an EU-certified QR code.
Please note that there is still a system being put in place for foreigners. I’ve been told that by mid-August there should be a digital system to facilitate the “health pass”.
Not many pharmacies or medical professionals know about this procedure, so if you do try asking one or two, expect them to look confused or all-out refuse. Nicely insist that they try to help and mention that you have these instructions from the US Embassy in Paris. Give them the French instructions below, smile, and use a bit of your charm to persuade them.
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One of the ways the French government is requesting this health pass (as of August 2021) is via a QR code as proof of your vaccination which is stored on the French TousAntiCovid app. People getting vaccinated in France receive a QR code that they can upload and store to the app. But what are you supposed to do if you don’t even have a QR code?
I’ve gathered this information from both the French consulate in Texas (where I’m from) as well as from the US Embassy in Paris.
Until last Saturday, I was probably like you, someone who was vaccinated in the States but living in France. I had proof of my vaccination from the physical CDC Vaccination card that didn’t come with a QR code.
After about 10 “nons” or “je ne sais pas”, not to mention the “ce n’est pas possible” from a French doctor and a few pharmacies including the French Covid Hotline – who don’t have a clue about this update – I was successful in getting my EU Covid QR code at a pharmacy outside of Paris. This now proves I’m vaccinated via a QR code that is readable from the TousAntiCovid app.
This wasn’t an easy feat by any means because the pharmacist who did end up doing it for me initially turned me down, nevertheless, I nicely nudged her to just take a look at the instructions from the US Embassy, she told me to come back the next day. She was able to figure out the process of creating the QR code, which took all of two minutes.
I did need to give her my French Social Security Number as well as my home address in Paris.
One doctor I spoke to told me that he was unable to help me out with generating the QR code because it would falsify the French vaccination stats. However, as you can see from the instructions below, this is a false belief because there is an “other” case for people vaccinating abroad. But I don’t think he knew about these instructions to be fully aware of the process.
It turns out that expats who were vaccinated abroad DO have a way of accessing their EU digital Covid certificate (aka QR code), or “certificat Covid Numérique UE”. Here is the process from the US Embassy in Paris (see below for the instructions in English):
“RECONNAISSANCE DE LA VACCINATION COVID FAITE À L’ÉTRANGER ET OBTENTION D’UN QR CODE”
Les vaccinations réalisées dans le cadre de la campagne de vaccination française, en France ou à l’étranger, doivent être enregistrées par le professionnel de santé dans Vaccin Covid (Ameli).
Les vaccinations réalisées en dehors de ce cadre mais avec un vaccin autorisé en France peuvent également être enregistrées dans la plateforme Vaccin Covid, uniquement par un professionnel soignant habilité (médecin, pharmacien, infirmier, sage-femme et chirurgien-dentiste).
Source : https://tousanticovid.stonly.com
Procédure à suivre :
>Mettre le nom du vaccin (Pfizer, Moderna…)
>Dans la case d’à côté (« provenance du lot ») TAPER ‘Autre’
>CLIQUER sur l’option ‘Autre Lot’
>Rentrer le numéro du lot étranger dans la case concomitante.
2. Centre de vaccination
>TAPER ‘Autre’ dans la case correspondante.
=> Il est très important de taper ‘Autre…’ dans les deux cases, sinon cela ne fonctionnera pas.
>Code postal : rentrer 99, qui permet ensuite de sélectionner le pays.
>Pour les États-Unis, rentrer 99063.
Suivre la même séquence en cas de deuxième dose, lorsqu’applicable. La feuille avec le QR Code apparaît et peut-être imprimée.”
To summarize this in English:
You must request a health professional (pharmacist, nurses, doctors) who has access to the health platform Ameli to login and access “Vaccin Covid”.
Procedure to follow:
>Enter the name of the vaccine (Pfizer, Moderna…)
>In the box next to it (“Batch origin”) TYPE ‘Other’.
>CLICK on the ‘Other Lot’ option
>Enter the foreign lot number in the box next to it.
2. Vaccination Center
>TYPE ‘Other’ in the corresponding box.
=> It is very important to type ‘Other…’ in both boxes, otherwise it will not work.
>Postal code: enter 99, which then allows you to select the country.
For the United States, enter 99063.
Follow the same sequence for a second dose, when applicable.
The sheet with the QR Code appears and can be printed.
As always in France, you may need to persist and insist nicely for someone to help you. After a few “nons”, I finally was able to get the QR code documenting my vaccination. This will not only make going to places like the cinema, museums, and eventually restaurants and cafes easier, but it will take out the hassle of having to prove I’m vaccinated by avoiding having to show my CDC paper card. When I’ve done this in the past, it’s been accepted, but it usually needs a manager’s approval and takes a bit more time for the person checking it to understand what it is.
If you or someone you know is coming to France and need assistance with trip planning or navigating COVID rules, don’t hesitate to reach out to me.
For more insider secrets check out:
Is ‘Emily in Paris’ Accurate? Part 1 | 7 Things the Show Got Wrong
Is ‘Emily in Paris’ Accurate? Part 2 | 7 Things the Show Got Right
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