French public warned over 'deactivation' bug in vaccine pass

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French public warned over 'deactivation' bug in vaccine pass
This illustrative photograph taken on February 12 2021, in Montpellier, shows a face mask and a digital tablet connected to the tracking application '#TousAntiCovid' launched by the French government to limit the spread of the Covid-19. - TousAntiCovid is an update of the StopCovid application, enriched by access to factual and health information on the epidemic. It allows the users to be alerted or to alert in case of an exposure to the Covid-19 virus. (Photo by Pascal GUYOT / AFP)

People in France are being warned about a software bug that has caused some vaccine passes to deactivate, despite the holder being fully vaccinated with a booster shot. Here's what to do if this has happened to you.


In France, the vaccine pass is required for entry to a wide range of public venues including restaurants, cinemas and museums. It is also required for some forms of transport, such as long-distance trains. 

All over 16s are required to use the pass if they want to access these venues. And practically everyone over the age of 18 has to have received a booster dose in order to hold a valid pass. 

You can find more details on how the pass works HERE

Vaccine passes can deactivate if the holder has not had a booster shot within the required time limit.

But now a warning has been issued of some passes deactivating, even for people who are fully vaccinated with a booster shot.


Who is affected?

This is a problem for people who have previously had Covid. 

France operates a 'one infection = one dose of vaccine' policy. This means that if you have been vaccinated with a two-shot vaccine (AstraZeneca/Pfizer/Moderna) and you are infected with Covid either before or after your first shot, you do not need a second shot. 

You do, however, need a booster shot.

To give a well-known example, French president Emmanuel Macron contracted Covid in December 2020. When his turn for a vaccination came round, he therefore had a single dose. Once boosters opened up for under 50s in November, he had his booster shot.

But in recent weeks, some people in this situation have received alerts via the TousAntiCovid app warning them that their vaccine pass would be deactivated. 

This is because of a software bug which was incorrectly interpreting the two doses - and which has reportedly now been fixed.

This doesn't affect people who had two doses of vaccine but then caught Covid before they could get a booster - they can show their positive test result until they are able to get the booster shot.

What to do

If you have received such an alert, then fortunately there is a simple solution.

You should re-download proof of your latest vaccination certificate from the French public health system (Ameli) website.

You can then either scan the QR code on this certificate into the TousAntiCovid app or carry around paper proof of vaccination instead. Alternatively, you could get your vaccine pass printed onto a plastic card


If you do not have an Ameli account, you will have to take your most recent vaccination certificate to a vaccine centre of pharmacy and ask them to reissue it. 

Other bugs 

So far, the TousAntiCovid app has had a surprisingly small amount of software glitches, but there is one problem that affects people vaccinated in the UK.

Because NHS vaccination codes only last for 30 days, TousAntiCovid will deactivate once the code has expired. You therefore need to download a new QR code every 30 days from the NHS app to scan into TousAntiCovid and keep it activated.



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