(Reuters) – The European Commission aims to harmonize the duration of the validity of the COVID-19 vaccination certificate, including the effects of booster shots, Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides said on Monday, amid record infection numbers in some EU states.
“I fully agree with the urgency, and this is why the European Commission is working with the utmost urgency to strengthen the coordination of free movement, including the length of validity and the role of boosters in the vaccination campaign,” she told European lawmakers in Strasbourg.
Austria became the first country in western Europe on Monday to reimpose lockdown since vaccines were rolled out, shutting non-essential shops, bars and cafes as surging caseloads raised the spectre of a second straight winter in deep freeze for the continent.
Kyriakides said discussions with EU member states on the COVID certificate were going on, and the bloc’s executive Commission intended to come up with proposals this week.
“We are determined to reverse the current wave…and we are also aware that we need to give clear, coherent messages to citizens,” she said.
(Reporting by Sabine Siebold)