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Soon, 9-month limit for COVID-19 vaccination validity to travel to EU nations

This means booster doses will be needed for those looking to travel to the bloc after the completion of nine months since their inoculations (second dose).

November 25, 2021 / 03:41 PM IST
(Representative Image/AP)

(Representative Image/AP)

The European Union is set to propose a nine-month limit for the validity of coronavirus vaccinations for those who want to travel to the EU nations. The bloc will also recommend prioritising travellers who are vaccinated.

This means booster doses will be needed for those looking to travel to the bloc after the completion of nine months since their inoculations (second dose).

Also read: Covid travel restrictions | Safest and most dangerous EU countries for travel, as per EU health agency

According to a Bloomberg report, the European Commission will recommend member states to continue allowing people who have taken COVID-19 vaccine shots that have been approved by the bloc.

The EU is also set to direct member nations to reopen from January 10 for those who have taken World Health Organization (WHO) approved novel coronavirus vaccines.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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All of these proposals are likely to be announced late on November 25.

Notably, EU governments have been urging the bloc to settle the differences in rules for allowing international travel as contrasting approaches are being adopted by various member nations.

Also read: Travel update | Entry guidelines for the US, Turkey, and Ireland among other countries

Meanwhile, the Commission from March 1 would adopt “a streamlined approach”, making travel fully dependent on the status of the traveller and not their country of origin. Meaning, only vaccinated, recovered, or essential travellers will be allowed.
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