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EU vaccine certificate could open door to Russian, Chinese shots

Author : Alberto Nardelli

Source : Bloomberg

The bloc will publish a ‘digital green certificate’ this month
13:51, 10 March 2021

Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine
AFP

The European Union will propose a certificate that could ease travel for those who have taken EU-approved vaccines as well as others, like the Chinese and Russian shots, that have only received emergency national authorizations.

The “EU Covid Card/digital green certificate” will comprise three documents that will specify if the holder has gotten a vaccine and which one; the results of a coronavirus test if taken; and details on whether they have recovered from a Covid-19 infection, according to a person familiar with the European Commission’s draft regulation.

The EU is racing to develop a system that will allow the 27 member states, and those in the European Economic Area, to reopen their doors to travel while also preventing an escalation in the spread of the coronavirus. The bloc’s leaders unanimously agreed last month on a broad outline for the vaccine certificates, which are a priority for tourism dependent countries like Greece and Cyprus.

“The proposal aims to facilitate the exercise of the right to free movement within the EU during the Covid-19 pandemic by establishing a common framework for the issuance and acceptance of interoperable certificates on Covid-19 vaccination, testing and recovery,” according to the current draft, which is subject to change.

Slow Rollout

The vaccination pass would cover all shots that have been authorized by the European Medicines Agency as well as those that have been granted emergency authorization by individual countries, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the process is private. Hungary for one has already started inoculating its population with vaccines manufactured in Russia and China.

The decision to include shots in the certificate that haven’t received European authorization could prove controversial for some member states who argue that the countries are using vaccines as geopolitical propaganda tools. But it will avoid arguments and restrictions for those countries that have given the shots their approval.

Related: China's Sinovac vaccine officially registered in Ukraine, - Healthcare Ministry

The EU is struggling to boost its vaccination numbers, which have fallen behind other regions. The bloc so far has given 9.4 shots per 100 people, according to the Bloomberg vaccine tracker. That compares with more than 27 doses in the U.S. and more than 35 in the U.K.

The commission, the EU’s executive arm, still maintains that it’s on track to meet its target of vaccinating 70% of its adult population by the end of the summer. The bloc also sees deliveries ramping up to as much as 100 million doses a month by the end of March.

Related: EU to include Sputnik V in vaccines’ register that enable receiving of Covid-19 passport

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