The so-called 3-G rule has already been implemented in many places: According to this rule, areas of public life are now only open to people who have either been vaccinated, tested or recovered. In this context, there has been a lot of talk about the vaccinated and the tested - how the respective proof is to be provided is probably clear to most people by now. However, one of the three groups has hardly been mentioned in the discussions, probably because it is by far the smallest group: the recovered. It is true that almost four million people in Germany are now considered to have recovered from the coronavirus. However, this does not mean that all of these people can claim further freedoms as recovered persons even after the 3-G regulation.
This is because only those who have tested positive for the coronavirus within the last six months - by means of a PCR test - are granted freedom as recovered persons. Neither a rapid antigen test, nor antibody detection is sufficient. "After the expiration of this period and before vaccination has taken place, the person is considered not fully vaccinated and just not recovered," says the Federal Ministry of Health (BMG). In addition, the positive test result must be 28 days old. But what is to be done now, if one fulfills these requirements?
According to the RKI and BMG, there are corresponding certificates of recovery for this purpose. Like the vaccination certificates, these can be loaded into the apps provided, be it the Corona-Warnapp or the Covpass app.However, they are not yet easy to obtain. "Since June, pharmacies have been issuing the digital vaccination certificate for those who have been fully vaccinated, and since July, they have also been issuing the digital vaccination certificate for those who have recovered," shares Christian Splett, spokesperson for the Federal Association of German Pharmacists. A digital convalescent certificate, however, does not yet exist here. "For this, the coronavirus test regulation must first be changed to enable an unbureaucratic billing procedure." The portal of the German Pharmacists Association is technically prepared, however, so that pharmacies can then create the convalescent certificates via a secure module as with the vaccination certificates.
According to the Federal Ministry of Health, such convalescent certificates can currently be issued in doctors' offices that use IBM's web portal. To do so, people must refer back to their once-positive PCR test. Medical practices that do not have the corresponding test result are not authorized to issue a certificate.
After six months, the "recovered" status expires. If people are then vaccinated, they are considered recovered vaccinated and also need their positive PCR test as well as the vaccination certificate for this proof. These convalescent vaccination certificates are available in doctors' offices as well as pharmacies. According to the Stiko, full protection takes effect immediately after the first vaccination. They are also considered fully vaccinated after one vaccination. A second vaccination has not yet been scheduled.
Until recently, convalescents were not said to be vaccinated until six months after they contracted Covid 19. In the meantime, this is possible as early as four weeks after an infection has been overcome, but according to the Stiko, this should be weighed up depending on the symptoms and is not advisable for everyone.
Thus, the Stiko distinguishes between persons with a symptomatic Sars-CoV-2 infection: Here, it still recommends vaccination six months after infection. For persons with asymptomatic Sars-CoV-2 infection, the recommended single vaccination can be given four weeks after diagnosis. And for persons who have already been vaccinated once against Covid-19 and subsequently still become ill with coronavirus, the second vaccination should generally be given six months after Covid-19 symptoms have ended.It is not yet clear if and when a second booster vaccination will also be needed at a later time in recovered vaccinated individuals to maintain vaccine protection.
Photo by Markus Winkler