The European Commission will recommend on Thursday that COVID-19 vaccination certificates last for nine months after full vaccination, an EU official told Reuters.
The decision was made after a long discussion about whether the validity of the certificates should last eight or nine months. People who get a booster shot will have the validity of their certificates automatically extended, the source said.
The recommendation is not binding but is expected to help foster a uniform approach across EU states.
At the same time, the head of the European Union’s public health agency Andrea Ammon has said that COVID-19 vaccine boosters should be considered for all adults, with priority for those aged 40 and older, in a major change to its guidance.
Recommendations issued by the European Centre for Disease prevention and Control (ECDC) are not binding on EU governments but are used to make health policy decisions.
In its previous guidance issued in September alongside the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the ECDC said there was no urgent need for the administration of booster doses to fully vaccinated individuals in the general population, but suggested that additional doses should be considered for people with weakened immune systems and could be used as a precaution for older frail individuals.