The Digital COVID Certificate is an admission ticket for travel within the EU. But did you know that your vaccination pass may expire soon?
In the coming weeks, people will start to receive notifications that their digital COVID vaccine certificates expire soon through their COVID applications.
Messages can be confusing at first glance, but they are just technical – all certificates expire after one year.
Your actual vaccination status will not be affected – you will not be considered vaccinated because the certificate has expired. If you receive a warning that your vaccine certificate will expire soon, you can get a new one from the pharmacy or wait for the Robert Koch Institute to update applications.
Am I completely vaccinated?
If you have received both strokes or a single dose vaccine with a proven recovery you are currently considered to be fully vaccinated in Germany.
The EU Commission regulates that digital vaccination certificates across the block are valid for at least nine months after you are fully immunized. After that, a booster shot is needed.
The booster vaccination certificate, as well as the original immunization certificate for those under 18, are currently valid indefinitely.
The new rules will apply in Germany from October 1. From this date, you will need three vaccine doses or two vaccinations and a proven recovery to treat the entire vaccine.
Why are the rules changing?
Evidence shows that vaccines protect us against severe COVID-19 symptoms, hospitalization and death. However, vaccines are not very effective in stopping the spread of the virus.
Governments and health agencies are adjusting vaccine certification to newer variants, immune-compromising people who need strong protection and deteriorating immunity after a few months.
Boosters provide better protection
One of the main scientific reasons behind the German booster requirement in early October was better protection against COVID-19.
Science has shown that boosters can help boost short-term immunity and maintain immunity over the long term.
Peter said, “These boosters are very good at protecting you from the symptoms of a serious illness … The extra protection you get from the first two to three doses will last with you, but for the full benefit of vaccination, you need boosters.” Openshaw, Professor of Experimental Medicine at Imperial College, London.
A large-scale study in April found that the efficacy of the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine against symptomatic COVID-19 was approximately 82% five months after the second dose. With Booster, that effectiveness returned to 92%.
The fourth shot will boost the defense even more
Experts suggest that a fourth booster shot may boost immunity. Several countries, such as Germany, the UK and Israel, have already begun recommending a fourth dose of the COVID vaccine to at-risk groups, including people over the age of 70 and people with immunodeficiency.
German health minister Carl Lauterbach has urged EU counterparts to support the fourth COVID-19 vaccine, especially for at-risk people.
Studies have shown that a fourth shot increases protection against COVID-19. An Israeli study published in March showed that between 60 and 100 people who received the fourth dose of the BioNTech-Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine had a 78% lower mortality from the disease than those who received only one.
Similarly, a UK trial published in May found that a fourth stroke increased protection against COVID-19 in people over the age of 70.
Governments are still deciding whether to recommend a fourth dose to most people later this year. Some experts say the research only supports a fourth blow to at-risk people, and further analysis is needed to justify giving the wider population a further booster jab.
The good news is that current vaccines still provide good protection against COVID, even if the virus is mutated.
“There seems to be no need for new vaccines against new COVID variants at this time, as current vaccines are effective in reducing serious disease,” Openshaw said.
But currently the rules in Germany require you to be completely vaccinated with two doses until September 30 and three doses from October 1.
Edited by: Claire Roth