European Commission sets nine-month expiry on vaccinations

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, left, speaks with European Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders during a weekly college of commissioners meeting at EU headquarters in Brussels, Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021. (Aris Oikonomou, Pool Photo via AP)
By Dénes Albert
2 Min Read

In the light of the resurgence of the coronavirus epidemic, the European Commission on Thursday proposed harmonizing rules for safe and free movement within the EU, including a nine-month certificate of full protection from 10 January. Under the proposal, member states will not be able to refuse a vaccination certificate issued less than nine months after the last dose of the vaccine.

“Following the guidelines of the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, we are proposing a validity period of nine months, and beyond that period, in the absence of a third booster, we would not recognize the card,” EU Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders said in a press release on Thursday. He added that the EU also takes into account that governments need time – at least three months – to adjust their vaccination campaigns and make the third dose available.

The Commission proposal also calls for holders of a valid security clearance not to be subject to restrictive measures anywhere in the European Union during their travel. However, in the absence of vaccination proof, those concerned would be required to carry out inspections immediately before or after arrival. Commission President Ursula von der Leyen also stressed in a press release on Thursday that the third vaccine should be given six months after the first series of vaccinations, as it maintains the immunity of those vaccinated.

She pointed out that EU agencies recommend booster vaccinations for all adults because they provide a higher level of protection, preventing many deaths and hospitalizations. He also announced that about a billion doses of the vaccine will be available in the 27 EU member states by the weekend. The President of the European Commission also pointed out that a quarter of the adult population in the EU still does not have a full vaccination.

“We need to convince everyone to vaccinate themselves,” Von der Leyen stressed.

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