EU Suggests ‘Expiry Date’ For Vaccine Passports And 3rd Shots For Summer 2022

EU Suggests 'Expiry Date' For Vaccine Passports And 3rd Shots For Summer 2022

The EU Commission recommended a “nine-month expiry date” on COVID vaccine passports for travel beginning Jan. 10, 2022

With a validity of only up to 9 months, millions of EU residents will unable be to obtain COVID travel passports in January unless they get a booster shot.    

This means that most people who are currently double-vaccinated would be considered unvaccinated for summer next year. 

“We propose a validity of nine months for the European anti-COVID certificate and beyond this period, its validity would no longer be recognized in the absence of a booster dose,” EU commissioner Didier Reynders said in a press briefing.

This time frame takes into account the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control’s (ECDC) recommendations for booster doses after six months and gives three additional months for countries to adapt, Reynders added.

Given accumulating evidence that current vaccines lose their efficacy after four or five months, nations like Greece, France, and Germany are moving towards requiring a third dose for people to be considered fully vaccinated.

The Commission was unable to determine a validity period for certificates issued based on booster doses, however.

It also announced a new internal EU travel policy based on travelers’ vaccination or recovery status rather than the COVID-19 situation in the countries from which they are departing.

Consequently, the EU’s executive arm aims to scrap its white list of nations from which all tourists are permitted regardless of their vaccination status.

“It is a new recommendation, we will see what the reactions of the member states will be,” said Reynders.

It’s possible that some EU countries delay the measure because starting a booster campaign with low vaccination rates and an increasing surge in cases does not seem to be logical. 

The issue is expected to be one of the primary topics discussed at the EU summit taking place on Dec. 16-17.