EU planning booster jab requirement for travel next summer

EU residents will need COVID-19 vaccine booster jabs if they want to travel to another country free of testing or quarantine next summer, the European Commission proposed yesterday.

The EU executive also proposed accepting all vaccines approved by the World Health Organization for travel purposes, with Chinese shots and vaccines made in India for people with non-essential travel to the EU from outside the bloc will allow.

The commission seeks to harmonize rules to allow free movement in 27 EU countries, but faces new restrictions as cases in Europe break records and several EU countries give booster doses.

It made its proposals as Europe again became the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic, even after successful vaccination campaigns, prompting some countries to consider new restrictions on movement as the continent winters. was the chief.

European Union governments, which would be required to approve the commission’s recommendation, began a debate on the subject on Tuesday. Greece proposed on Wednesday that people should be able to travel freely in the future if they have received a dose in the past six months.

Recognizing that immunity diminishes, the Executive Commission proposes that people should be considered covered if their last dose of primary vaccination was within the past nine months, and that the update should go into effect on January 10.

Given that most EU residents who were vaccinated received their last doses in the second and third quarters of 2021, their coverage will mostly end by the middle of next year.

EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides said current vaccination coverage was 65 per cent of the EU population.

“For everyone to travel and stay as safe as possible, we urgently need to reach higher vaccination rates. We also need to strengthen our immunity with booster vaccines,” she said.

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