EU to Set 9-month Duration for COVID-19 Vaccine Certificate

The EU Commission adopts new rules for the validity of COVID-19 vaccine certificates for travel within the EU. Now, the certificate will remain valid for 270 days.

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The European Commission decided to adopt new rules regarding the validity period of COVID-19 vaccination certificates for traveling around the European Union. The period was shortened from 1 year to 9 months (270 days)

Starting from February 1st, 2022, member countries of the EU will need to accept the new validity period of vaccination certificates. Moreover, these 270 days (counted from the date of receiving the first vaccination course) cannot be either extended or shortened

The certificate will not include the expiration date. However, the applications verifying the passes will be able to recognize certificates with a validity exceeding 9 months. 

Scientific evidence for a 9-month duration

According to the advice from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, a booster of COVID-19 shots should be administered within half-year of receiving the full vaccination dose.

The EU Digital COVID-19 Certificate will be valid for 6 months, plus an additional 3 months allowing for getting booster shots. Together, it will make 9 months (270 days), after completing the first cycle of the coronavirus vaccination. 

After receiving the booster shot, the validity of the vaccine passport may be extended without any special limits

Currently, there is no scientific data confirming the specific time for which the booster can protect. 

Booster rules

The EU Commission has set updated rules regarding the booster jabs:

  • booster administered after a 2-course full COVID-19 vaccination - recognized as 3/3
  • booster administered after a single-course COVID-19 vaccination - recognized as 2/1

Booster shots are highly recommended to all people aged over 18.

Intra-EU travel

The shortened validity of vaccine passports applies to travel purposes. The main aim of the introduction of the vaccination certificates was to reinforce the movement within the EU countries without specific coronavirus-related restrictions.

Some European countries have also introduced the pass requirements to access public areas like gyms, restaurants, cinemas, etc. 

Katarzyna Żyła

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