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Ukraine to reduce validity of Covid-19 certificates to 9 months

January 10, 2022 5:09 pmby Sergiy Slipchenko
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A Covid-19 vaccination certificate is displayed on the phone screen via the state Diia app. (Diia)

Ukraine's Deputy Health Minister Maria Karchevych has announced on Jan. 10 that Ukraine will shorten the validity period of Covid-19 vaccine certificates from a full year to 270 days.

Karchevych said in a TV interview that the decision will likely be made "sometime this week" and will follow the same decision by the European Union that will take effect on Feb. 1.

The 270 days will begin on the date when the second shot is administered.

The ministry will issue a separate certificate for booster shots, which will also be valid for 270 days, Karchevych said.

The health ministry approved booster shots for all vaccinated Ukrainian citizens over the age of 18, as of Jan. 6.

Initially, the booster shot was reserved for citizens over 60 years old. However, as the new highly transmissible variant of Covid-19, Omicron, started to spread in Ukraine, the ministry went on to authorize booster shots for all adult Ukrainians.

The Omicron strain has been reported to be 3-5 times more infectious than the Delta variant. The booster dose is supposed to fortify and prolong the body's defenses against it.

Booster doses of mRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) are recommended 6-9 months after the second jab, regardless of what vaccine the person has received previously.

Foreigners are not yet eligible to get the booster shot in Ukraine.

However, foreign citizens with residence permits and political refugees can get vaccinated in Ukraine for free. Other foreigners can get vaccinated if they pay for the medical service. The vaccine itself is still free.

Ukrainians and foreigners can get vaccinated at one of the mass vaccination centers or a local clinic. See the list here.

Ukraine has detected its first Omicron case on Dec. 18. The health ministry predicted that a new wave of Covid-19 cases will start in mid-January and will run through February.

As of Jan. 10, Ukraine has fully vaccinated over 13.9 million people, 37% of its total population and 45% of its adult population. Over 20,000 Ukrainians have received the booster dose. Ukraine's vaccination rate is the lowest of all European states.

Sergiy Slipchenko
Author: Sergiy Slipchenko

Sergiy Slipchenko is a staff writer at the Kyiv Independent. He studied at York University in Toronto, Canada and worked as a reporter at the Kyiv Post.