The EU proposes that the vaccine pass is valid for 9 months

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The QR code with the EU COVID digital certificate is displayed on the mobile phone.

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The EU is considering setting the validity period of its Covid-19 vaccine certificate to 9 months, which allows tourists to enjoy a certain freedom of travel while the coronavirus pandemic is still raging.

The European Commission, the executive body of the European Union, proposed to update the EU digital Covid certificate on Thursday. The document outlines their vaccination status, whether they have recently recovered from the virus, or whether their recent test result was negative, making it easier for people to travel during a pandemic.

The current thinking is that the document will be valid for 9 months after the first group of vaccines—for example, after the second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech, or after the first dose of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine. The idea is that as immunity weakens, the vaccine passport will expire.

Thursday’s recommendations did not address the issue of enhanced injections. The committee stated that “it can be reasonably expected that the protective effect of enhanced vaccination may last longer than the protection of the primary vaccination series.”

Therefore, a new expiration date may be announced in a few weeks to include recommendations for enhanced injections. In a major policy change, the European Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended on Wednesday that all adults should be vaccinated with boosters, with priority given to those over 40.

The epidemic is not over yet

“It is clear that the pandemic is not over yet,” European Commissioner Didier Reynders said on Thursday. Therefore, he said, “The travel rules need to take this unstable situation into account.”

Many European countries are facing a large number of Covid infections, especially in countries where vaccination rates are still low.

The European Union’s vaccination rate is 67%-this masks the differences between countries. For example, in Portugal, 88% of the population is fully vaccinated, while in other countries, people are less willing to be vaccinated against the coronavirus.

The announcement on Thursday came as the World Health Organization warned earlier this week that by March, the number of deaths from the new crown virus in the region could exceed 2 million. The WHO also described the recent increase in cases as “very serious.”

In recent weeks, various European countries have announced measures to control the increase in the number of infections. Countries such as Austria and the Czech Republic have adopted some of the most rigorous methods.

Thursday’s proposal needs to be approved by the 27 EU member states before it can be approved.

The proposal also suggests that children under the age of six should not be subject to any travel restrictions. People between the ages of 6 and 12 should also be exempt, unless they are from a country with a very high infection rate, and children over 12 must follow the same rules as adults.


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