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EXPLAINED: What people vaccinated in Italy need to do to get the ‘green pass’

If you've been vaccinated in Italy, here's how to access the digital green pass - even if you have not yet received an 'authorisation code'.

EXPLAINED: What people vaccinated in Italy need to do to get the 'green pass'
The new health pass is valid for travel between all EU countries.Photo: Marco Bertorello/AFP

From Thursday July 1st, the EU’s much talked-about Covid travel ‘health pass’ has been in use across the bloc to facilitate quarantine-free travel.

It shows proof via a QR code that the holder has either been vaccinated, recently recovered from the virus, or recently tested negative for Covid. 

Italy launched its version of the digital (and printable) pass on June 17th, and this document is now valid for travel within the EU from July 1st under the international scheme.

TRAVEL: How does the new EU Covid certificate work and how do I get one?

The Italian health pass is also needed when attending large events, and may soon be expanded and required for access to more venues.

As the goverment looks at expanding the scheme however there has been increased concern about access, with widespread reports of people not receiving a access code or having other difficulties using the app.

Here’s a closer look at how people in Italy can get the pass after vaccination.

Note: If you’re looking for information on how people vaccinated in the US can access Italy’s ‘green pass’, see here.

Versions of the health pass from all EU countries are accepted in Italy. Photo: Denis LOVROVIC/AFP

How it works

It should be possible to claim your health certificate 15 days after your first dose of a vaccine (including the Johnson & Johnson single shot), and within 48 hours of your second dose, according to the health ministry’s green pass website.

After vaccination, your green certificate will be automatically issued in a digital and printable format via a national platform run by the Italian health ministry.

The official website says that, once it’s available to download or access, you should receive an SMS or email (at the number or address you provided on your vaccine registration form) containing an authentication code and further instructions.

EXPLAINED: What is Italy’s digital ‘green pass’ used for and how do you get it?

You should in theory be able to use this code to access the certificate itself via either the official website, the IO public administration app or the Immuni contact-tracing app, or by accessing your electronic health records (Fascicolo Sanitario Elettronico, available on your regional health system’s website). 

What if you didn’t receive a code?

The Italian health ministry initially said there may be a delay of up to a week for the codes to be sent out to people who had been vaccinated before the system went live.

“If you have already had the vaccine, when the certification is available you will receive an email or SMS to the number given during the vaccination,” the website states.

However, many of The Local’s readers (and writers) still hadn’t received these codes as of July 1st – two weeks after the scheme launched in Italy, and up to a month after they had received a first vaccine dose.

People who have had their second dose however do appear to be receiving the authorisation code within 48 hours without any problems.

If you have had only had one dose and have not received the code, there does seem to be a way to access the certificate.

We found that on logging in to the official website or apps using an electronic ID, the certificate was in fact available for download.

The system can only be accessed without the missing ‘authorisation code’ however if you have a digital identity document: either the SPID digital ID or an electronic ID card (CIE).

You would not be able to log in without the code using your tessera sanitaria (health card).

To log in, go to either the official website login page, or use the IO public administration app or the Immuni contact-tracing app.

While this is not the procedure outlined by the health ministry on the official website, it worked for several of The Local’s members and writers as of July 1st.

Others however were given a message saying that their certificate was still not avalaible and “would be made available by June 28th”.

The health ministry advises people to contact the green pass helpline for support on 800 91 24 91 (freephone) or email [email protected].

However many readers have reported getting no response to multiple emails, and being unable to get through on this number. The Local has been unable to successfully contact anyone via this email address or phone number so far.

Vaccination centres have been advising people to email the following address with their codice fiscale, date of vaccination and the email address they would like the authoritisation code re-sent to: [email protected]

Alternatively, anyone who has not received their code or cannot otherwise access the pass is advised to contact their doctor or pharmacist, who should be able to dowload the pass on their behalf.

The certificate, once you get it, features a scannable QR code, and you can show it directly on your smartphone or choose to print out a copy if you prefer.

Certificates will remain valid until you get your second vaccine dose (if applicable), and for nine months after you are fully vaccinated.

While Italian authorities will recognise equivalent documents issued in all EU and Schengen zone countries, as well as those from the US, Canada and Japan (more about these requirements here) the Italian version of the pass is only made available to people who were vaccinated in the country, or recovered or recently tested negative here.

Find further details on the green pass official website (currently only available in Italian).

For more information about the current coronavirus situation and health measures in Italy please see the Health Ministry’s website (in English).

Member comments

  1. My wife was not sent the code by the ministry either, but when she was finally able to register for her SPID through Poste Italiane and thereafter to sign onto the Io App, the ministry automatically sent her the green pass QR code on the Io app.

  2. I was vaccinated 2nd dose end May yet still no code available to download my green card. Endless waiting on telephone was frustrating and useless. Today I visited my local pharmacy and received it immediately on presentation of my medical card. If you have a carta sanitaria this is the easiest way to get your green card

    1. I had the same experience . . . endless frustrations until I visited a local pharmacy, presented my tessera sanitaria and they printed a copy of my green certificate. It took less than a minute.

      1. I am wondering if anyone can assist. I do not haev a Carta Sanitaria as I am AIRE citizen. I have received my vaccination however not received my Authcode to download my green pass. I have tried to call and email the help and call them but neither receive a response. I went to the local pharmacy but with out a Carta Sanitaria it doesn’t seem they are able to check on the system as I only have a Codice Fiscale. Does anyone have the same problem and how did they resolve it? Many Thanks

  3. Ok, I’m an American assigned in Italy with military as a us government worker. We have been vaccinated and have a valid CDC cpvaccination card. How do WE ge the green pass??

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Italy opens Covid booster jab bookings from Monday

Regional health services in Italy will open bookings for Covid-19 booster shots to priority groups from Monday as the first deliveries of updated vaccines arrived in the country.

Italy opens Covid booster jab bookings from Monday

“From Monday, September 12th, bookings for the new dual-strain vaccines can begin at the regional level,” said director general of the Italian Medicines Agency (Aifa), Nicola Magrini, at a health ministry press conference on Friday.

Booster shots will not be mandatory and will be offered to priority groups first, health authorities confirmed.

READ ALSO: Italy gives green light to new dual-strain Covid vaccines

“The arrival of the new vaccines should strengthen the conviction of those who have to take the fourth dose because of their age or because they have other conditions,” Magrini said. 

Aifa on Monday approved the Comirnaty (Pfizer) and Spikevax (Moderna) dual-strain vaccines, which are effective against both the original strain and the more recent Omicron variants.

Italy will receive 19 million doses of the new vaccines in September, said Franco Locatelli, president of Italy’s Higher Health Council (ISS), at the press conference. 

The updated vaccines have been shown to “generate an antibody response against the Omicron Ba4 and 5 variants, which are the prevalent ones,” he said.

They represent “96 percent of all strains isolated in Italy so far”, he said.

Italian healthcare workers preparing doses of Covid vaccine.

The new dual-strain vaccines will be offered first to at-risk patients, including people aged over 60 and care home residents. Photo by Marco BERTORELLO / AFP

Covid vaccines “have been a triumph of science and medicine” and “have saved millions of lives”, Locatelli added.

Booster jabs are currently recommended for those in higher-risk categories as Italy begins its autumn vaccination campaign.

Priority will be given to those who are still waiting to receive a second booster dose (the so-called fourth dose); therefore over-60s and people with health conditions that make them more susceptible to developing more severe forms of the Covid-19 disease, according to the latest memo from the health ministry.

READ ALSO: What is Italy’s Covid vaccination plan this autumn?

Magrini said the priority list also includes “health workers, pregnant women, and residents of facilities for the elderly”.

But “it can also be administered to those under 60 who ask for it,” he added.

Booster shots can only be administered to those who received their last dose at least 120 days (about four months) earlier.

The vaccination campaign is expected to be expanded to all over-12s who have only completed the initial vaccination cycle. For this category, the new booster shot would be their third dose.

How do you book a booster shot?

As in previous vaccination campaigns, each regional health authority will manage their own local vaccination programmes, including their timing.

Bookings should work in much the same way as before, with patients being able to book their appointments through GPs, pharmacies or their ASL’s website where available.

Shots can be administered by family doctors as well as at designated vaccination hubs in more densely populated areas.

The autonomous province of Trentino said it will begin administering jabs immediately from Monday and will allow residents to begin booking jabs from Saturday, September 10th.

Other regions and autonomous provinces are expected to announce their plans in the coming days.

For further information on availability and reservation in your region, see the official vaccination booking website.