More than 650 million EU digital COVID-19 certificates have been issued by the European Union and member states of the Schengen Area since June 1, when the first countries began issuing the document to those who had been vaccinated, recovered from COVID-19 and those tests and resulting Negative results for the virus.
The achievement was announced last week by the European Commission, while the same was presented with a proposal to shorten the validity of European vaccination certificates, TheSchengen.com reports.
“Since the summer, the uptake of the vaccine has increased significantly, and the EU’s digital COVID certificate has been successfully published, with more than 650 million certificates issued so far. At the same time, the epidemiological situation in the European Union continues to evolve with some member states taking additional measures. public health, including the administration of booster vaccines,” says UNHCR in a press release.
On October 18, the same reports said that by then 591 million EU COVID-19 digital certificates had been generated. That means an additional 60 million have been generated in the meantime, through November 25th.
While the certification is valid in the European Union and the Schengen area amid the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant in the world, now, when the Omicron variant is spreading rapidly, the EU Commission has proposed changes to the certification.
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In a proposal submitted on November 25, the commission suggests that the validity of certificates for those vaccinated should be shortened from 12 months to nine months since the initial vaccination series.
The proposal is based on guidelines from ECDC – the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control – on giving booster doses from six months ago. The additional three months are provided in order to ensure that EU citizens have access to the booster doses.
According to the commission, the third doses will be included in digital COVID-19 vaccine certificates, where a certificate must be issued after each dose.
“On 17 November 2021, the Commission adopted Standard Rules on how a booster dose should be encoded in the EU’s digital COVID certificate: a booster following a two-dose vaccine will appear as 3/3 on the certification, and a booster after a single-dose vaccine will be reflected as 2/2”, the committee explains.
At the same time, the commission recommended changes to the way countries are classified under the traffic light map from January 10, 2022, in order to take into account vaccination rates, regardless of the rate of cases, deaths and tests in the country.