Expats vaccinated abroad struggle to register jab with Dutch government
Internationals living in the Netherlands who were offered a vaccine in their home country were likely vaccinated a lot earlier than their Dutch counterparts. However, some expats who were vaccinated abroad with a coronavirus vaccine approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) have struggled to register their vaccinations with the Dutch government and the National Institute for Public Health and Environment (RIVM).
No official system for registering international vaccinations
Anyone who is vaccinated against COVID-19 here in the Netherlands is asked whether they’re willing to have their information shared with the RIVM. If they choose to do so, their vaccination will be registered in the Corona Information and Management System (CIMS) and, once fully vaccinated, they will be able to generate a QR code via the CoronaCheck, allowing them to travel within the EU or go to nightclubs or events without having to get tested for coronavirus.
And after Richard Monturo travelled home to Miami back in March to receive his two Moderna jabs, he assumed that, as the vaccine he had received had EMA approval and was also being distributed in the Netherlands, he would have no issues registering his vaccination here in order to receive a QR code on the government’s CoronaCheck app.
In spite of the fact that Monturo had his US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) card to prove his vaccination status, he found that the Ministry of Health couldn’t register his vaccine with the RIVM. He considered booking a third vaccination appointment, either to receive Janssen or another Moderna shot, but ultimately he was told to book an appointment with his GP in order to verify and register his foreign vaccination card. "I had a successful outcome but in a roundabout way," Monturo explained to IamExpat. "I went to my GP Friday morning and she entered my US Moderna vaccine registration in the RIVM database. On Sunday, I was able to download QR codes for national and international usage through the Coronacheck app."
Dutch government says system is "being worked on"
Recently, the Dutch government updated the information available on their website, letting anyone who was vaccinated outside of the EU know that there is “currently no way to convert your vaccination into a certificate in CoronaCheck. This is being worked on.”
Dutch Health Minister Hugo de Jonge also informed the NRC at the beginning of June that the goal was that anyone with a BSN number who (temporarily) residers in the Netherlands but receives an EMA-approved vaccine outside of the EU will, in the future, be able to register their vaccination in the CIMS.
However, he emphasised that the system that would allow for this to happen was still being developed: “Together with RIVM, I am currently exploring how to shape this, it is not yet clear how this will be made possible...This complex issue involves several questions, such as the recognition and recognition of foreign COVID-19 vaccination certificates.”
The Health Minister was adamant that anyone with a BSN number who had been vaccinated abroad with an EMA-approved vaccine would receive the same rights and freedoms as those vaccinated in the Netherlands.