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Reducing booster interval would facilitate safe travel – Ahearn

10th February 2022 - Senator Garret Ahearn

A reduction in the interval between recovering from Covid-19 and receiving a booster to four weeks would encourage vaccine uptake and enable people to travel abroad safely, a Fine Gael Senator has said.

Tipperary Senator Garret Ahearn said, “We have a situation at present where those under the age of 40 who have had their first and second vaccines cannot receive their boosters for three months because they recently contracted Covid, and yet also cannot apply for a Covid recovery certificate.

“During Christmas, we asked people under 40 to take antigen tests instead of PCR tests and, because of that, under EU rules they are now not able to register for a Covid recovery certificate to update their EU Digital Covid Certificate.

“Many people’s Covid Certificates will have expired on February 1st, and for those who cannot register for a recovery cert or receive a booster, their EU Digital Covid Certs now cannot be renewed. We must take a look at the three month booster interval and reduce the wait time, if in line with public health advice, in order to encourage booster uptake.

“This issue is causing significant problems for people when they travel within the EU as they now face barriers to entering into countries without their EU Digital Covid Certs.

“As more and more young people look forward to booking flights and to finally traveling abroad, this is an issue which will only intensify, and we should encourage as many young people as possible to take-up their booster shoots enabling them to travel in the safest way possible.

“As it currently stands, the time period between recovering from Covid-19 and being allowed to get a booster is three months. The equivalent time period in the UK is four weeks.

“Young people need their boosters, and I am calling on NIAC to follow the UK’s lead and reduce the time period here from three months to four weeks.  It is a simple recommendation that should be allowed and should happen immediately,” concluded Senator Ahearn.

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