Travellers urged to receive booster shots by February

People who want to travel and who received Covid-19 vaccine jab a long time ago should consider re-vaccinating by February, when it is planned to enact a European-wide requirement for Covid-19 vaccination certificates to be no older than nine months if their holders wish to travel, as journalists were told by Kaspars Bērziņš, advisor to the Minister of Health for policy issues on Friday, 7 January.
He explained that with the decision to adopt a validity term for vaccination certificates Latvia has followed the example of other European countries that did that previously. ‘Everyone in the European Union has decided to make the validity term no longer than nine months. This requirement for travel will be in force in Europe from 1 February. From that point on residents will need to have a vaccination certificate that is not older than nine months to travel,’ says Bērziņš.
At the same time, to receive services in Latvia certificates are given two validity terms, depending on the vaccine used – for Johnson&Johnson the term is five months and for all other vaccines it is nine months.
Epidemiologist Ņikita Trojanskis also recommends residents to sign up for booster shots, because in the event of infection with Omicron variant of Covid-19 booster shots can help reduce the risk of hospitalisation and death. Nevertheless, even vaccinated people can be tested positive for Covid-19.
Kaspars Bērziņš notes that Covid-19 vaccination certificates’ validity terms apply only to accessibility of services – residents do not need to undergo booster vaccination if they want to continue working normally.
«This is done to improve the general epidemiological safety without making it too much of a burden for job relations,» he said.
Authorities in Latvia have yet to consider establishing any terms for booster shots.
As previously reported, on Thursday, 6 January, the government in Latvia passed amendments to rules of the Cabinet of Ministers, setting validity terms for Covid-19 certificates for adults. The Covid-19 certificate validity requirement will come to force in Latvia on 15 February and will extend only to provision of services and attending events in an epidemiologically safe environment, where it is necessary to present a valid Covid-19 vaccination certificate.
The vaccination validity term does not apply to people younger than 18 years, because people from this age group do not require booster vaccination.
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