The modification establishes the validity of 270 days for the certificates if the booster dose is not received, a period that no Member State may extend or shorten.
The European Commission imposes an expiration date on the covid certificate. Nine months, 270 days exactly, this safe-conduct will be valid to travel throughout the European Union. Time will start to run from the moment the first phase of vaccination has been completed. And those who have not received the booster dose will not be able to use it when the term expires. The mobile application that supports the verification will detect that it has expired.
To allow sufficient time for the technical adaptation of the systems and to spur booster vaccination campaigns in the Member States, the new measure will not be immediately applicable. It will be activated from February 1, 2022.
What is needed now is to ensure that booster campaigns move forward as quickly as possible, that as many citizens are protected with an extra dose, and that our certificates remain a key tool for travel and public health protection », Highlighted this Tuesday the commissioner of the area, Stella Kyriakides.
Brussels argues that these new rules should ensure that restrictions are based on objective criteria and scientific evidence. Although the reality is that they are launched at a time when several countries (Italy, Greece, Ireland, or Portugal) have imposed additional restrictions such as negative PCR even when vaccinated, which reduce the legitimacy of the certificate itself.
- Successful idea.
- Sixty countries and territories from five continents have joined the EU certificate
- Several states such as Italy, Greece, Ireland, and Portugal have imposed additional restrictions
Be that as it may, it has been defended as “an EU success story” since its regulation was approved on June 14. To date, a total of 807 million certificates have been issued. And little by little it has become a kind of international standard pass, “as 60 countries and territories from the five continents join the system.”
When establishing the nine months of validity, two derivatives must be taken into account. The first and fundamental: that the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC for its acronym in English) recommends booster doses no later than six months after the end of the first cycle of inoculation.
A guideline that has been further reinforced if possible with the expansion of the omicron variant, which is expected to be dominant in Europe in mid-January. The second takes into account the different pace of vaccination campaigns in the EU. So it would be a grace period: “three additional months to ensure that those campaigns can be adjusted and citizens have access to the extra dose.”
With this change will also come a new coding in the certificate that will distinguish between those issued in the first phase and those obtained after the booster vaccination. For the latter, health systems will have to state in the section ‘Number in a series of vaccinations and number of doses’ the digits 3/3 when the booster puncture on the double initial dose has been received.
The combination 2/1 must appear if the Janssen ‘single dose’ has been endorsed or in the case that a person who has overcome the disease has received a puncture from a double-dose vaccine (so far it is enough that the certificate proves to have passed the coronavirus, without additional vaccine).