German Health Minister Jens Spahn said Wednesday the nation is prepared to roll out a digital “immunity app” to show proof of vaccination for Germans by the end of June.
Spahn told reporters the digital certificate is designed to allow people to more easily prove they have been vaccinated and travel to different areas and countries. He said all the standards, interfaces and “technical terms” for the certificate have been agreed to, and after regional testing is complete next month, he expects it to be ready for distribution.
The health minister said the goal is for the certificate to be compatible with the certification system currently being developed and debated by the European Union.
“If we manage to do this for the EU in the coming weeks, then we'll likely set a global benchmark,” Spahn said, noting that no other countries have agreed to a system at the national level.
Tuesday, the European Parliament began discussing how the certificate could be used. While EU officials want it to allow unconditional entry to member states, some members are balking at surrendering the power to control their own borders.
Spahn said the good news is that COVID-19 infection rates have been dropping for all age groups throughout the country and that vaccinations continue at a steady pace, with at least one-third of the German population having received at least one shot and about 10% fully vaccinated.
Speaking at the same news briefing, Robert Koch Institute for Infectious Diseases (RKI) President Lothar Wieler told reporters that schoolchildren and young adults remain the group with the highest infection rates, with over 150 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people.
RKI reports that as of Tuesday, Germany’s national average infection rate was 115 per 100,000 people.