ATHENS – Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Wednesday sent a letter to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, in which he proposed that a third dose of a vaccine against Covid-19 be made “a condition of safe travel within the European Union for European citizens above 60 years old,” while additionally calling for this to be “reflected in the European digital certificate” for Covid.
The prime minister started by noting the resurgence of SARS-CoV-2 infections throughout Europe, attributing this to the more infectious delta variant and waning immunity of vaccines administered months earlier. He also noted that a third dose of the vaccines has been shown to be 90 pct effective at protecting people from severe Covid19-related outcomes, including death.
“I believe time should not be wasted in order to protect the most vulnerable of our citizens,” he said, and while acknowledging “variance between member states” in their programmes for the third dose, he said that this will “protect against symptomatic infection and keep our citizens healthy and out of hospitals.”
Noting that the scientific evidence suggests that a third dose is strongly recommended for people of older age, Mitsotakis proposed that a third dose be made a condition of travel for those over 60 years old and “reflected in the delegated act concerning the validity period of the European digital certificate which the Commission is planning to adopt and in the Council Recommendations 1475/20 and 912/20 concerning travel in the EU.”