Covid certificate does not expire for underage children who have not received a booster shot – EURACTIV.com

Children under the age of 18 no longer need to take a booster vaccination in order to keep a valid Covid certificate and, in particular, to be able to travel to Europe, according to a communication from the European Commission on Tuesday (March 29).

In order to have a valid Covid certificate, also known as a vaccination pass, within the EU, a booster dose 270 days after the basic vaccination for people aged twelve and over was previously necessary, otherwise the valuable QR code was deactivated.

But as of Tuesday, that rule only applied to people aged 18 and over, with minors now only needing to have had their first and second doses – or just the first if they had Covid-19 – to continue using their certificate.

« After discussions with public health experts from Member States, we have decided that vaccination cards for minors should not expire. When traveling, they can continue to use the certificate they received after the first series of vaccinations said Didier Reynders, Commissioner for Justice.

However, on February 24, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) recommended injecting a booster vaccine for children aged 12 and over, but not all countries in the Union have recommended or required it.

« Factors such as the spread and likely severity of the disease need to be considered when deciding whether or not to offer booster vaccinations in this age group […] in younger people the known risk of side effects […] and the existence of other safeguards and restrictions ‘ the EMA said in February.

The choice was therefore left to the Member States. In France, for example, vaccination of 12 to 17 year olds is “ highly recommended “, most ” not mandatory According to the Ministry of National Education.

« As with previous vaccination decisions, it will depend […] the experts leading the vaccination campaign in each Member State to give their opinion ‘ the EMA concluded.

keep vaccinating

When the Covid certificate is no longer linked to the booster dose for 12-17 year olds, the EU strategy remains the same: vaccinate the population as much as possible, including the booster dose.

« We are still confronted with the pandemic and immunizations remain crucial ‘ reminded Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides alongside Mr Reynders, before adding:’ Our message has not changed: get vaccinated as soon as possible. Vaccination saves lives and is essential for all of us ».

Member States have until April 6 to update the mobile apps used to generate QR codes for Covid certificates.

In Europe, after a slight lull, the load is increasing again under the influence of subvariant BA.2. According to the World Health Organization, Covid cases are increasing in 18 of the 53 countries in WHO Zone Europe.

WHO Director for Europe Hans Kluge said: “ The countries where we are seeing a particular increase are the UK, Ireland, Greece, Cyprus, France, Italy and Germany during a press conference on Tuesday, Jan.

« These countries abruptly lifted restrictions, going from “too many” to “not enough”. concluded Mr. Kluge.

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