Brussels limits the validity of the covid certificate to nine months if the booster dose is not received | Society

The European Commission has decided this Tuesday to limit the validity of the digital covid certificate of the European Union to nine months if the holder has not received the booster dose against the coronavirus, which forces them to receive a new puncture after that period to dispose of of the document that allows you to travel without restrictions through the community territory. This receipt, created last summer to try to harmonize the trips among the Twenty-seven, will expire 270 days after receiving the complete schedule of the vaccine, if the souvenir puncture has not been inoculated. The Commission has established that the new rules come into effect on February 1, 2022.

Brussels raises this change in response to studies that estimate that the protection offered by vaccines against covid-19 is significantly reduced six months after the second dose, and also with the aim of stimulating immunization in member states. The measure seeks to give a boost to the inoculation of this additional dose in the European population at a critical moment in which the omicron variant is spreading.

At the same time, it seeks to provide a tool to prevent the unity of the Twenty-Seven from cracking in its response to intra-community travel as some countries – such as Italy, Portugal and Greece – have unilaterally decided to request negative PCR tests from Europeans who they cross its borders, regardless of whether they are vaccinated or not.

With the announcement of the binding change, the Community Executive has taken the opportunity to insist that the travel restrictions implemented by the member states must be decided in a coordinated manner, based on scientific facts and objective criteria. “Maintaining coordination is essential for the functioning of the Single Market and will give security to Europeans in the exercise of their right to freedom of movement,” the Commission said in a statement.

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To set the period of validity of the certificate, the Community Executive has taken into account the guidelines of the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), which has recommended puncturing the extra dose, at the latest , six months after the end of the first vaccination cycle. Brussels has added a “grace period” of three months “to ensure that national vaccination campaigns can be adjusted and that citizens have access to booster doses,” according to a statement. To date, 807 million certificates have been issued and their use has become a global standard: 60 countries have joined the system, according to figures from the European Executive.

The EU Heads of State and Government gave their approval last Thursday to the proposal to impose an expiration on the certificate of patients who do not receive the additional dose, after which Brussels has adopted the delegated act that allows changes in the regulation without further paperwork.

At the end of November, the European Commission approved a draft recommendation to limit the validity of the COVID certificate to nine months if the booster dose was not received. The proposal needed the approval of the EU states to enter into force, which spoke out on Tuesday. The new standard replaces the current one, which allows obtaining the certificate when it is proven to have received the complete schedule of the vaccine, to have overcome the disease or to have carried out a test with a negative result. In principle, the certificate did not have an expiration date in the case of the vaccine, but Brussels now considers it necessary to temporarily limit its validity after having found that protection is reduced over time.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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