Vaccinated, but no QR code

Vaccinated, but no QR code

Non-European students face problems when they want a valid QR code

15-10-2021

MAASTRICHT. Covid shots from countries outside the European Union do not entitle to a valid vaccination certificate in the Netherlands. Non-European students who want a QR code, have to go to a special service point of the GGD in Utrecht with their passport, BSN number and vaccination certificate. For students in Maastricht that is “far away, it often takes a long time or it is difficult with lectures and exams”, they say.

About eight hundred students at Maastricht University come from outside the EU. From September 25, QR codes will be mandatory in all catering establishments. “Very frustrating,” says Joana Funari, first year Economics and Business Economics. She got her two doses of AstraZeneca in her home country of Brazil. “Utrecht is far away and it takes a long time before you can go at a time that suits you. I have lectures and exams.” The next available dates are on 14, 18 and 19 October, a spokesperson for the GGD in Utrecht says over the phone. “There will be a second location in Groningen in the short term, the cabinet decided on 8 October. Nothing else is known yet”, she adds;  this is of little use to students at UM.

Unbelievable, Funari thinks. “I have official papers stating that I have been vaccinated, but the EU does not recognize them. While AstraZeneca is also used in the EU.” For now this means "no pubs, no clubs and not even McDonalds." If she wants to go to a party with her friends, she has to test. “I do that sometimes, but if they decide to go somewhere last minute, I stay at home.”

Her friend Ana Zolandeck, a first-year European Law School, is the same age and also Brazilian, but she has less hassle because she got her vaccinations in the MECC. “My app doesn't work, maybe because I didn't have a social security number at the first injection.” But the printed version that she downloaded from the website works everywhere. She uses it every week: “In restaurants, bars, the clubs on the market. I haven't had any problems yet.” She hopes that the GGD can help her install the QR code on her phone.

The Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS), which is responsible for the CoronaCheck app, is aware of the problems and is working on a solution, they say. VWS hopes that countries with a different certificate will join the European system. For Funari, the only realistic option is a return ticket to Utrecht. "That's going to take a while. It will be faster if I get vaccinated for free here again, but I don't dare. What does that mean for my health?”

Author: Yuri Meesen

Photo: Maksim Goncharenok via Pexels

Tags: Covid-19,QR code,vaccination,instagram

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