Booster jabs added to Covid pass, UK-India travel unaffected

Booster jabs added to Covid pass, UK-India travel unaffected
Courtesy: Andriy Onufriyenko | Moment via Getty Images

Travellers who have had a booster jab, or a third top-up dose, of a Covid-19 vaccine will now be able to demonstrate their fully updated vaccine status through the National Health Service (NHS) Covid Pass, the UK government announced.

At this stage, it will also not be necessary to show evidence of a booster dose for travel into England from overseas, including from India.

The addition will enable those who have had their booster or third dose to travel to countries such as Israel, Croatia and Austria, who have already introduced a time limit for the Covid-19 vaccine to be valid for quarantine-free travel. Booster or third doses will not be added to the domestic COVID Pass as it is not a current requirement for individuals to receive booster doses to qualify as fully vaccinated, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said.

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The NHS Covid Pass enables people to demonstrate their Covid-19 status when travelling abroad or when visiting organisations who have opted to use the domestic certification process. Since its launch on May 17, almost 20 million people have accessed the Covid Pass via the NHS App.

Over 13 million booster and third jabs have now been administered in the UK, providing those eligible with maximum protection as we head into winter.

This week, the UK government has also accepted the advice from the independent experts at the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) to expand the booster programme to those aged 40-49, which means millions more people will be eligible to get their third dose.

“Getting a booster is the best way you can protect yourself ahead of winter and it’s great those who have come forward can now demonstrate their vaccination status through the NHS Covid Pass if they are travelling overseas,” said UK Vaccines Minister Maggie Throup.

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“It has also never been easier to book your booster, with walk-in sites open across the country and appointments available to pre-book a month before you are eligible for your top-up. For anyone who hasn’t yet had their jab, come forward as soon as possible for maximum protection ahead of Christmas,” she said.

The NHS reiterated that while vaccines give high levels of protection but immunity reduces over time, which is where the booster vaccine to top-up defences after a six-month gap from a second dose comes in.

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