Families with teens face travel chaos this summer as a booster programme for 12- to 15-year-olds has not yet been rolled out.
This could mean teenagers in this age cohort may see their EU digital Covid certs expire before the summer season.
People who received their second dose of a Covid-19 vaccine and haven’t received a booster will see their digital certs go out of date after nine months, in line with an EU regulation.
But teenagers aged 12 to 15 aren’t eligible for boosters yet, meaning they are also unable to prevent their digital certificates from expiring.
Families with teens in this age group may face extra costs for testing if they wish to travel abroad.
Since February 1, Covid-19 certificates are not being accepted for travel within the EU if more than 270 days, approximately nine months, has passed since the final dose in the primary vaccine series. Vaccine certificates based on booster or additional doses are not time-limited.
Passengers without proof of vaccination or proof of recovery from Covid-19 in the previous six months must show evidence of a negative PCR or antigen test result on arrival in an EU country.
The vaccination programme for 12 to 15 years olds in Ireland began last August – meaning these children’s digital Covid-19 certs will expire from May.
There are 269,000 children in this cohort.
Families fear they will be unable to travel abroad this summer or face additional costs for testing if their teenagers’ Covid-19 certificates expire.
Teenagers whose digital Covid-19 certs have expired will have to present negative PCR or antigen tests, depending on the country’s restrictions, on arrival.
Children under 12 are exempt from travel requirements, in line with EU guidelines.
However, the vaccine programme for 5-11-year-olds in Ireland began in January, meaning children who received the jab will have an in-date vaccine cert to travel abroad this summer if needed.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Health said there is no date set for a booster programme for 12- to 15-year-olds to begin. She added: “The National Immunisation Advisory Committee continue to review the evidence in relation to the administration of booster vaccine doses to certain cohorts and will make recommendations to the Chief Medical Officer as appropriate.”
News courtesy: Irishmirror.ie