French expats vaccinated abroad fail to obtain digital EU vaccination certificates
Nearly 2.5 million French people living abroad who have been vaccinated in their country of residence could face difficulties in traveling to France, because they cannot obtain a digital certificate of vaccination from the EU.
While French nationals residing in other countries of the European Union can have their vaccination certificate recognized in France thanks to the EU’s COVID-19 digital vaccination passport, which entered into force in July, French nationals staying in Asia, Africa and South America, in particular, are struggling to get to France, reports SchengenVisaInfo.com.
The problem arose after a traveler intending to visit the country asked the Social Security Internet forum how he could get to France if, as a US resident, he had been vaccinated there and received the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) paper.
“We are going to travel to France in June. How do we get the QR code that proves we have been vaccinated in the US from here? “ He asked.
The national health service replied that health professionals currently only provided the unique code, which allows the registration of proof of vaccination on the TousAntiCovid application, available for people vaccinated in France.
This decision follows fears that the document may be falsified, as noted by Senator Évelyne Renaud-Garabedian, of the Les Républicains party.
“French people living outside the EU must be able to benefit from the European health pass. Their vaccination certificate must therefore be recognized and available via a QR code. said Renaud-Garabedian.
For now, French nationals wishing to visit the country, who are vaccinated with one of the vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency (Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca or Johnson & Johnson / Janssen), should contact the French national health organization, Insurance Disease, in order to obtain a “Foreign vaccination certificate recognized at the borders to enter France”.
However, negotiations are underway at the European Commission level, which means that a new decision can be adopted to align the certificates of non-EU countries with the same conditions as the digital COVID-19 vaccination certificates of the EU.
French nationals face another problem of vaccine availability. While the EMA only recognizes four vaccines, the World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes another such as Sinovac, Sinopharm, as well as two AstraZeneca vaccines from South Korea and India, in some non-member countries of in the EU, none of the vaccines available are approved by the EMA.
“I have received two doses of the Sinopharm vaccine, but the EU is not hearing about it. I am returning to France on Thursday for the holidays, but I feel frustrated because I will not be considered vaccinated by the authorities there. I won’t be able to go to concerts, for example. said teacher François Legros, who works at the French Lycée Jean-Mermoz in Dakar, Senegal.
He could have been vaccinated with AstraZeneca, but the waiting period between the two-shot vaccine was longer and he would not be fully vaccinated by the time he planned to travel to France.
Renaud-Garabedian said she heard stories like Legros’s all the time and blamed the French authorities for “lack of communication and consistency ”. In contrast, the opposing lawmaker has asked authorities to help French nationals by sending them vaccines to countries where EMA vaccines are not available.
Previously, the French government announced that free tests issued for non-essential reasons such as tourist travel would soon be charged, with the aim of increasing vaccination rates.