People are now being shown an extended validity of their covid vaccination certificate in the Dot app, for 1,447 days. What does this mean? According to the Ministry of Health, it is a de facto unlimited period, which is still to be clarified.
Until now, the certificate was only valid for nine months after a complete vaccination against covid-19. Now, people are shown information on the Dot app that “the certificate expires in 1,447 days”.
As the Ministry of Health told Seznam Zpravy, this is not a technical error.
“According to the emergency measure of 9 July, the validity of the vaccination, i.e. the certificate, is not limited at the moment. Further clarification will depend on information from clinical trials concerning the re-vaccination,” said Martin Novotný from the ministry’s press department.
“At the moment, the validity in the Tečka app has been set to the maximum period by the worker, as the app is now unable to display the word ‘unlimited’. NAKIT (National Agency for Communication and Information Technologies – ed.) is working on updating the app to make this possible. This will be reflected in the next version of the app,” he added.
Will there be a third dose?
It is not yet clear if and when a possible re-vaccination against covid-19 will be needed. Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) told Seznam Zpravy this week that the state wants to wait for expert recommendations. This will then guide the purchase of other vaccines.
“This is the task of the clinical group to propose a revaccination based on the experience of international organisations and Israel. We are waiting for their opinion, we are waiting for the opinion of Dr Roman Chliebek, who is the chairman of the vaccinology society, to say when and if it will be. And who will be vaccinated with which vaccine,” the prime minister said.
However, the World Health Organisation recently criticised plans by richer nations to buy more covid-19 vaccines to stock up on re-vaccination. The WHO says there is no scientific evidence that a third dose is needed.
The organisation then urged pharmaceutical companies to increase supplies to poorer countries where vaccination rates against covid-19 are still low. The epidemic situation is now worsening around the world because of the spread of the more contagious variant delta, said the WHO.
Pfizer and BioNTech have announced their intention to expand the covid-19 vaccination to a third dose. They intend to ask drug regulators in the US and the European Union to do so. According to the companies, the administration of a third dose could significantly boost immunity against covid-19. A number of Western countries are considering re-vaccination, and Israel will allow people with weakened immunity to receive a third dose of Pfizer’s vaccine.
“There is no scientific evidence yet that a re-vaccination is necessary,” but WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan said.