Booster shots required from Feb to keep vaccine certificate
Anyone who wants a coronavirus access pass for use in the Netherlands based on vaccination status will likely also have to get a booster shot from February. Caretaker Health Minister Hugo de Jonge said he plans to adopt the new European rules for international proof of vaccination and have them take effect simultaneously. He also said he wanted to amend the rules for recovery and vaccination certificates for young people up to 18.
On Tuesday, the European Commission announced that the validity of the European vaccination certificate will be reduced to 270 days from 1 February. After that, people will need a booster to extend the proof. A recovery certificate after proven infection will be valid for 180 days. De Jonge has always argued that the rules for the European digital coronavirus certificate should be the same as the Dutch coronavirus access pass. That is already the case at the moment.
The Minister also said he expects that people younger than 18 will also have to get a booster shot at some point for the European certificate or Dutch access pass. Booster shots are currently only approved for people aged 18 and older, but according to De Jonge, you can "assume" that the drug will also be approved for younger groups. If that happens, he will also "include that in the adjustment of the coronavirus access pass," he said.
With the European digital coronavirus certificate, people who meet the requirements can easily travel between European countries. The Dutch coronavirus access pass was used, among other things, to watch sports matches and visit catering establishments. The Dutch code for the access pass only shows a green tick and some details for identification. The European QR code shows more information, such as which vaccine someone was vaccinated with and the date this happened.
Reporting by ANP.