French citizens vaccinated in Asia, Africa and America could not obtain "EU COVID Digital Certificate"
Nearly 2.5 million French citizens living abroad who have been vaccinated in their country of residence may have difficulty visiting France because they cannot obtain an EU digital vaccination certificate. While French citizens residing in other European Union countries may have the vaccination certificate recognized in France, French citizens in Asia, Africa and South America may not obtain the certificate.
The problem came after a traveler who intended to visit the country asked on the Social Security Internet Forum how he could travel to France if, as a US resident, he was vaccinated there and received the vaccination certificate issued by the American Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
"We will travel to France in June. How can we get the QR code here that proves we were vaccinated in the United States? ” he asked. The National Health Service replied that health professionals have currently provided only a unique code, which allows the proof of vaccination to be registered in the TousAntiCovid application, available for vaccinated people in France. The move came after authorities worried that the document could be falsified, as Senator Évelyne Renaud-Garabedian noted.
French citizens vaccinated in Asia, Africa and America could not obtain the "EU COVID Digital Certificate".
"French people living outside the EU must be able to benefit from the European health permit. Their vaccination certificate must be recognized and made available by means of a QR code in this way. " said Renaud-Garabedian.
For the time being, French citizens 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 broadcaster, Health Insurance, to get a "Foreign vaccination certificate recognized at the borders in order to enter France".
However, there are ongoing negotiations at European Commission level, which means that a new decision can be taken to align the certificates of non-EU countries under the same conditions as the EU COVID Digital Certificate. French citizens face another problem: the availability of the vaccine. While the EMA recognizes only four vaccines, the World Health Organization (WHO) also recognizes Sinovac, Sinopharm, as well as two AstraZeneca vaccines from South Korea and India.
In some non-EU countries, none of the available vaccines are approved by the EMA.
"We have received two doses of Sinopharm vaccine, but the EU does not accept it. I'm going home to France on Thursday, but I'm frustrated that I won't be considered vaccinated by the authorities there. For example, I will not be able to go to concerts ", said Professor François Legros, who works at the French high school Jean-Mermoz in Dakar, Senegal. He could have been vaccinated with AstraZeneca, but the waiting period between the two-dose vaccine was longer and he had not been fully vaccinated until he planned to travel to France.
Renaud-Garabedian said that he always hears stories like those of Legros and blames the French authorities for "lack of communication and coherence". On the other hand, the parliamentarian asked the authorities to help French citizens by sending them vaccines in countries where EMA vaccines are not available. Earlier, the French government announced that free tests for non-essential travel, such as holidays, would soon be taxed in an attempt to increase vaccination rates.