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COVID-19 VACCINES

Can foreigners in Italy use the national Covid vaccination booking website?

As vaccinations become mandatory for more groups in Italy and with the waiting period for booster shots reduced, foreign nationals in Italy have contacted The Local for guidance on how to book their dose. Here's what you need to know.

How foreign nationals in Italy can access the national Covid booking website.
How foreign nationals in Italy can access the national Covid booking website. Photo by MIGUEL MEDINA / AFP

Readers of The Local who are looking to book their first, second or booster shot in Italy have reported obstacles with getting an appointment for an anti-Covid vaccine.

Not having certain documents such as a tessera sanitaria (Italian health card) and codice fiscale (tax code) can make the process complicated, even though as readers previously showed when vaccinations first opened, it’s not impossible.

Since the over 50s now face a vaccine mandate and the validity of the ‘super green pass’ – which shows the holder is vaccinated against or recently recovered from Covid – has been reduced to six months, many people in Italy face the requirement to get immunised or boosted in order to keep accessing public life in Italy.

Italy’s latest tightened health rules mean that you now need a ‘super’ or ‘reinforced green pass’ to enter most venues across the country, including restaurants, gyms, swimming pools, theatres, cinemas, sports events and public transport. Only those recovered from Covid-19 are exempt.

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And from February 15th, workers aged 50 and over will need to produce the ‘super green pass’ to enter their workplace.

Some form of the ‘green pass’ has been in place since August 6th, but the government has repetitively extended the health certificate in order to encourage more people to get vaccinated and to curb rising infections.

Here’s a look at some of the problems readers have noted when booking their vaccinations and how you can get around them.

A Covid vaccination hub in Italy. Photo by MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP

Using the national Covid vaccination website

To book a vaccination appointment in Italy, the national Covid vaccine platform is a good jumping off point – but it will allow you to book for some regions only, including Abruzzo, Basilicata, Calabria, Marche, Sardinia, Sicily and Valle d’Aosta.

You’ll be asked to input your tessera sanitaria (health card) number and your codice fiscale (tax code) when you’re directed to the booking page.

If you don’t have these, there are a couple of options that will ask you to fill out your details in full.

For Italian citizens registered with A.I.R.E. (Register of Italians living abroad), you can book your appointment here. You will have to state which dose (first, second or booster) you intend to book.

If you are a foreign citizen with an STP (Stranieri Temporaneamente Presenti) or ENI (European Non Iscritto) code or an Italian Fiscal Code (codice fiscale), you can book your appointment here.

In the case that these don’t work, you can request authorisation to book using this link.

Some readers have reported that entering their tax code didn’t work or wasn’t recognised. In this instance, you can proceed by using the “Request Enrolment” (Richiedi Abilitazione) button to proceed with registration and insert your data. The site then reads, “Within 24/48 hours of the request to register your data, you will be able to access the platform and proceed with booking your Covid-19 vaccination.”

It’s possible to book in a region other than your residence and in a region other than the one where you received a previous dose of the vaccine. If this applies to you, you must indicate the type of vaccine received and the date of first administration.

EXPLAINED: How to get a Covid-19 vaccine booster shot in Italy

Using your regional health authority’s website

If you don’t progress with the national platform or if your region isn’t covered, visit the website of your regional health authority and see what information is available there instead.

This is a good port of call as Italy’s healthcare system operates on a regional rather than a national level. That means booking a dose will be a different process in Lombardy compared to Campania, for example.

Some regions require appointments, while others allow walk-ins; some allow pharmacies to administer the vaccine, while others require you to go to a vaccination hub.

The Tuscany health authority’s website is well laid-out and clearly instructs you how to book an online appointment for your vaccine depending on which category you fall into. However, even this is not always straightforward if you don’t have all the required documentation.

A medical worker vaccinates a patient with a dose of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine. Photo by Marco BERTORELLO / AFP

Jennifer Vogt is an American citizen living in Florence and attempted to book her booster shot using the Tuscan region’s vaccine booking site.

She isn’t yet registered with Italy’s national health system and so doesn’t currently have the tessera sanitaria. However, that wasn’t the issue, as “that could be bypassed”, she said, as you can manage to book with just your tax code.

READ ALSO: How to try to get a Covid-19 vaccine without a health card in your region of Italy

The stumbling block was when she was also asked for a ‘codice numerico‘ (numerical code), which even the local health authority – or ASL – couldn’t clarify what it was.

In this case, she was referred back to the national booking platform, which doesn’t cover Tuscany, so she booked an appointment in the Marche region instead.

This of course requires a considerable amount of travel, but she stated, “This is a great workaround for those not able to get the vaccine in their region and only have a codice fiscale.”

But is travelling to another region the only way to get around the system?

Firstly, check your region’s vaccination guidance and booking process – either online or by phone. For a breakdown of each region’s contact details and websites, check here.

In many cases, readers of The Local report being able to book an appointment by phone using only their codice fiscale number after explaining the situation.

If you don’t speak Italian, ask someone who does so they can help explain your situation.

Should none of these routes work – or if you can’t see the information you’re looking for on the regional authority’s website – it’s a good idea to contact your family doctor or local pharmacist to see what they can tell you about accessing the dose you need.

Find more information about Italy’s Covid-19 vaccination campaign on the Italian health ministry’s website (available in English).

Member comments

  1. my son and his chinese hk wife have flown to italy as their flights to hk were all cancelled . Yesterday they drove to Bari having prepaid a hotel but on arrival their documents were refused as they do not have a super or green pass and their qr code could not scan. They have both been double vaccinated in hk and booster vacinated in the uk. How can they get a green card. They were evicted from their hotel at 23.00 last night. Have you any suggestions?

  2. https://www.esteri.it/en/ministero/normativaonline/focus-cittadini-italiani-in-rientro-dall-estero-e-cittadini-stranieri-in-italia/
    I have had the same issue as an Australian, fully vaccinated with an Australian Federal Government International Vaccination Certificate – but the QR code does not scan here. So same, same. I have printed a copy of the document that can be found at the website page above, and I carry it with me. When I was questioned this week upon checking into a hotel in Rome, I politely whipped this out of my bag (see the last paragraph) which specifically details the rights of vaccinated foreigners and politely asked that it be read. Saved the day…for now, until I can get a booster and, somehow, get a Green Super Dooper Pass or whatever it will be called in a week’s time. I suggest carrying a copy in its Italian version. Good luck. M

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COVID-19 VACCINES

Italy approves fourth Covid vaccine doses for over-60s

Italy has extended the availability of a second Covid-19 vaccine booster shot as infection rates surge across the country.

Italy approves fourth Covid vaccine doses for over-60s

The Italian health ministry announced that fourth Covid vaccine doses, or second booster shots, will soon be available to all residents aged 60 and over, as national medicines regulator Aifa gave the green light on Monday.

Health minister Roberto Speranza said on Monday that doses could be administered to this age group “immediately”, as Italy “moves in line” with recommendations from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

“In the coming hours, immediately, already today, we will adapt our guidelines, our circulars and our indications. We will immediately open up administration in our regions.

“We mustn’t think that the battle against Covid is won. It is still ongoing and we must keep the level of caution high,” he said.

The health ministry confirmed in an update on its website that second booster doses were now recommended to “all persons aged 60 years or older, provided there has been an interval of at least 120 days since the first booster dose or the last post-booster infection (date of positive diagnostic test)”.

READ ALSO: Fourth jabs and isolation: Italy’s plan to control Covid cases this summer

The availability of fourth doses will vary by region, as each local health authority is responsible for managing the timing of its own vaccination campaign.

Several regions, including Lazio (around Rome) and Lombardy (around Milan), said on Monday that they would allow over-60s to book their fourth jabs within the coming days.

A fourth dose can be booked as usual, via pharmacies or family doctors, and via regional booking websites where available. (Find more information in a separate article here.)

Speranza didn’t say when second booster shots may be rolled out to all age groups, stating only that “a new vaccination campaign” is set to begin in September.

Health authorities have previously said they are not planning to make a fourth dose mandatory, though an annual “top-up” shot is likely to be offered.

Until now, only over-80s, care home residents, and clinically vulnerable patients have been eligible for a fourth shot in Italy.

READ ALSO: At a glance: What are the Covid-19 rules in Italy now?

But health experts are also urging the government to speed up the administration of fourth jabs to these vulnerable groups: uptake remains far lower than hoped so far, with 78 percent of over-80s not getting theirs yet.

With the coronavirus infection rate now at its highest level since February, and the number of hospitalisations expected to keep rising in the coming weeks, the health ministry has not said whether it plans to bring back any recently-scrapped health measures.

For now, the government’s strategy appears to be focused on maintaining the relatively high rate of vaccination coverage in Italy: 90 percent of the population over 12 years old has been fully vaccinated with at least two doses, official figures show.

Find out more about booking a booster shot in Italy in a separate article here. See the government’s ‘prenotazione vaccino‘ (vaccine booking) website for links to regional authorities’ appointment reservation platforms.

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