Information about your vaccination record
Reading your vaccination record correctly: understanding your immunity status and getting a booster where necessary.
Your vaccination record usually stays with you throughout your entire lifetime. It records all your vaccinations and tells you when it is time for a booster. We have put together some information on how to read the yellow booklet correctly and what you need to do, as well as what to do if you lose your vaccination record or if it has not been kept up to date.
Where do I get my vaccination record from?
The doctor issues a vaccination record when babies are given their first vaccinations shortly after birth. Wherever possible, this record should be continued throughout a person’s lifetime. This will allow any doctor to check a patient’s level of immunization.
Most people have the yellow-coloured vaccination record, which is issued according to the guidelines of the World Health Organisation (WHO). Some people in Germany still have the older white folded version, which is set out in a similar way. The WHO vaccination record is an international document containing all the information in German, English and French. It is therefore important that you take it with you on trips abroad, especially when you travel to countries with vaccination requirements.
Documentation for Covid-19 vaccinations
Just like all other vaccinations, the Covid-19 vaccination also needs to be recorded. Ideally, the proof of vaccination will be marked in your “little yellow booklet”. Therefore, please bring this with you to your vaccination appointment.
Can’t find your vaccination record? Our tips on this page are there to help you. But don’t worry: if you can’t find your vaccination record in time, your doctor will provide you with a replacement certificate, which can be added to your vaccination record later on.
If you urgently need an official proof of your Covid-19 vaccination or any other vaccination, you can also download the required form here.
You can find other useful documents about Covid-19 vaccination protection, such as information leaflets, on the website of the German Federal Ministry of Health.
Preview: from this summer, a digital Covid-19 vaccination passport will also be available for smartphones as an optional addition to the yellow vaccination record. This should be accepted throughout the EU. The German Federal Ministry of Health has already commissioned the development of this digital passport. You can find detailed information on the plans for a digital Covid-19 vaccination passport on the website of the German Federal Ministry of Health.
Lost vaccination record: step by step to your new vaccination record
Some of your vaccinations have not been recorded? Or have you lost your vaccination record? Please start by contacting your paediatrician, GP or travel health clinic. All your vaccinations should be recorded in your patient files and your doctor will be able to add them to your vaccination record. If earlier vaccination records are no longer available, these count as “not vaccinated”. In this case, doctors recommend that any missing vaccinations are caught up. Your doctor will be able to advise which vaccinations are needed.
If your old vaccination record has been lost, the previous vaccinations will be added to a new vaccination record booklet, which you will get from your doctor. It is not possible to order or apply for a vaccination record.
In theory, the doctor may also carry out an antibody test. A blood test known as a “titer test” can detect antibodies that protect against certain diseases. This allows the doctor to find out whether you are already immune. However, these tests are not recommended in general: they are not fully conclusive and must be paid for privately in most cases. Doctors can only advise these titer tests under certain conditions, for people with immunodeficiency for example, in which case they are accounted through the electronic healthcare card.
Tip: make a copy of your vaccination record after each new vaccination. This will ensure you have all the relevant information even if you lose your vaccination record. A doctor will then be able to add the vaccinations in a new vaccination record.
Page by page: understanding your vaccination record
At first, the doctor will note the date on which the vaccination was given. This makes it easy to see precisely when you will need a booster.
Next to that, you can see the name of the vaccine and the batch designation – usually on a small sticker. If there are any side effects after the vaccination, the batch designation tells you precisely which vaccine was used.
The doctor also marks the relevant disease or pathogen that has been vaccinated against.
Finally, the name of the doctor is entered along with a signature and stamp.
Frequently used abbreviations for vaccinations
Here you will find the frequently used abbreviations for vaccinations, which you might also come across in your vaccination record:
|aP||Pertussis (whooping cough)|
|D or d||Diphtheria|
|DT or Td||Diphtheria/Tetanus combined vaccine|
|DTaP or Tdap||Diphtheria/Tetanus/Pertussis combined vaccine|
|Hib||Haemophilus influenzae Type B|
|IfSG||Infection protection act (in Germany)|
|IPV||Inactivated poliomyelitis vaccine (vaccine against polio)|
|MMR||Measles/Mumps/Rubella combined vaccine|
|MMR-V||Measles/Mumps/Rubella/Varicella (chicken pox) combined vaccine|
A look at the vaccination record:
After the cover page, vaccinations against yellow fever can be recorded. Some countries require proof of this vaccination for entry into the country. Only state recognised yellow fever vaccination centres are authorised to administer and certify these vaccinations.
Standard vaccinations are recorded on the following pages – from infancy to adulthood. Standard vaccinations in Germany include tetanus and diphtheria, whooping cough (pertussis), and mumps, measles and rubella (MMR).
Most vaccination records have an additional section for the flu (influenza) vaccination. The vaccination is recorded here on an annual basis.
After that, special vaccinations can be recorded, which are required for professional reasons, travelling or for certain groups of people. These may include vaccinations such as rabies, hepatitis A, tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) or HPV (cervical cancer) vaccinations.
Since 1998, STIKO, the vaccination committee in Germany, no longer recommends vaccination against tuberculosis (BCG vaccine). However, it may sometimes be relevant to test whether you have already had TB or other mycobacterial infections or if you have already been vaccinated. This can be done with a skin test. The results of the test, known as a tuberculin test, are recorded in the vaccination record.
To find out whether you have adequate protection from certain illnesses, such as rubella, through vaccination or a previous infection, a doctor can carry out blood tests in certain cases. This is for example relevant for women who want to have children. These results are also recorded in the vaccination record – usually on one of the pages towards the back.
In the event of an emergency, such as an injury, your vaccination protection may not be sufficient and a doctor can protect you through passive immunisation, for example against tetanus. The administration of antibodies is recorded in the relevant section in the vaccination record.
Finally, important medical data for emergency situations can be entered in the vaccination record, such as your blood group, allergies and chronic illnesses.
Which vaccines are recommended and when?
On the last page of the vaccination record, you will find a vaccination calendar, which shows which standard vaccinations are recommended and when. The latest recommendations from the Standing Committee on Vaccination (STIKO) are available on the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) website. You can find the STIKO vaccination calendar here.
Apart from that, there are other recommended vaccinations for certain groups of people. These are known as non-routine vaccinations and apply to people with underlying health conditions and immunodeficiency or to people who are exposed to particular risks because of their professional occupation. Further vaccinations may also be recommended for trips abroad.
Here you can find further information on important vaccinations.
A glimpse of the future: digital vaccination records as part of electronic patient files
In future, a digital vaccination record will help you to access your immunity status more easily. The digital vaccination record or passport will be part of the electronic patient files from 2022 onwards. You can already access your patient files on your smartphone from 1 January 2021. This will simplify your access to your digital vaccination record and save you time by not having to search for your “yellow booklet”.
The digital vaccination record includes other helpful functions. Automatic reminders such as “booster required for your tetanus vaccination” will help to ensure that you don’t miss any important vaccinations.
Until then, we recommend that you keep your current vaccination record in a safe place and regularly ask your doctor to check whether any boosters are required. That way you can always be sure that you have optimal protection.