The NHS COVID Pass can now be used to show proof of a booster or third dose for outbound international travel, with records needing to be visible on both NHS App and on NHS.UK
With over 13 million booster vaccines and third doses delivered across the UK so far, travellers who have had these doses will be able to display their vaccine status through the NHS COVID Pass from 19 November.
The NHS COVID Pass allows people to show their COVID-19 status when travelling abroad or when visiting organisations who opt to use the domestic certification process. Since its launch on 17 May, almost 20 million people have accessed the COVID Pass via the NHS App.
Vaccines provide high levels of protection; however, immunity reduces over time. It is therefore vital that people get their COVID-19 booster vaccine to protect themselves in the winter period.
With this update, those who have had their booster, or third dose are able to travel to countries including Israel, Croatia and Austria, of which have already introduced a time limit for the COVID-19 vaccine to be valid for quarantine free travel.
However, booster and third doses will not be added to the domestic COVID Pass, because qualifying as ‘fully vaccinated’ does not require individuals to receive booster doses. It will also not be currently necessary to show evidence of a booster for travel into England.
Providing those eligible for boosters with maximum protection as we head into winter
Independent experts at the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advised to expand the booster programme to those aged 40-49, for millions more people to become eligible to get their third dose, boosting national protection.
Health and Social Care secretary, Sajid Javid said: “We want to make it as easy as possible for people to show their vaccine status if they are travelling abroad.
“This update to the NHS COVID Pass will mean people can have their complete medical picture at their fingertips if they are going on holiday or seeing loved ones overseas.
“Getting a top-up jab is our best defence against this virus and I urge all those who are eligible to come forward and get boosted.”
Vaccines Minister Maggie Throup added: “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.
“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.”
Over 13 million booster and third jabs have now been administered in the UK
Booster and third doses will show up automatically in the digital COVID Pass and will be visible on Friday for users in England, however, it will not immediately become available via the COVID Pass letter service. This is to be updated in due time.
Results from the first UK real-world study by UKHSA show the pfizer-BioNTech vaccine booster significantly increased protection against symptomatic disease to nearly 95% in those aged 50 and above.
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