EU: In 9 months the validity of the European vaccination certificate

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The European digital certificate will be valid for nine months, as announced by Commission.

In particular, the Commission has adopted rules on EU digital COVID certificate, defining binding acceptance period 9 months (exactly 270 days) of vaccination certificates for the purposes of travel within the EU. A clear and uniform acceptance period for vaccination certificates will guarantee that travel measures will continue to be coordinated, as requested by the European Council after its last meeting on 16 December 2021. The new rules will ensure that the restrictions are based on the best available scientific data as well as objective criteria. Ongoing coordination is essential for the functioning of the single market and will provide clarity to EU citizens in exercising their right to free movement.

The EU Digital COVID is a success story for the EU. The Certificate continues to facilitate the safe movement of citizens across the European Union during these times of pandemic. So far, 807 million certificates have been issued in the EU. The EU digital COVID certification has set a global standard: so far 60 countries and territories on five continents have joined the system.

The new rules for travel within the EU harmonize the different rules between Member States. This period takes into account the guidelines of the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, according to which booster doses are recommended no later than six months after the end of the first vaccination cycle. The Certificate will remain in effect for a grace period of an additional three months beyond those six months, to ensure that national vaccination campaigns can be adjusted and citizens will have access to booster doses.

THE Stella Kyriakidou, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, he mentioned that ““A harmonized period of validity for the EU digital COVID is a necessity for secure free movement and coordination at EU level. The strength and success of this invaluable tool for citizens and businesses lies in its consistent use across the EU.”.

The new rules for the period of acceptance of vaccination certificates apply to the purposes of the trip. When introducing different rules for the use of certificates at national level, Member States are encouraged to align them with these new rules to provide security for travelers and reduce vacations.

In addition, today the Commission has also adapted the rules for coding vaccination certificates. This is necessary to ensure that vaccination certificates indicating the completion of the initial series can always be distinguished from vaccination certificates issued after a booster dose.

The boosting doses will be recorded as follows:

3/3 for booster dose after an initial 2-dose vaccination series.

2/1 for booster dose after single dose vaccination or a 2 dose vaccine dose given to a person who has recovered.

THE Didier Reynders, Commissioner of Justice, stated: “The EU digital COVID is a success story. We need to keep it that way and adapt to changing conditions and new knowledge. Unilateral measures in the Member States will bring us back to the fragmentation and uncertainty we saw last spring. The nine-month acceptance period for vaccination certificates will give citizens and businesses the confidence they need when planning their trips with confidence. It is now up to the Member States to ensure that the amplifiers move quickly to protect our health and ensure safe travel. “

THE Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton, noted that “The EU digital certificate for COVID has become a global standard. “Reflecting the latest scientific knowledge on booster doses, the certificate remains an essential tool in combating the different waves of the pandemic.”

Response: Irini Zarkadoula, Brussels

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