Updated Digital COVID Certs recognising booster and third-dose shots will start issuing this week, the Health Minister has confirmed.
It comes after people who were among the first to be vaccinated last year voiced concern that their certs would soon be out of date under EU rules.
Under new rules adopted by the European Commission last month, the certs will soon only be valid for nine months.
In a tweet this evening, Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said the new certs will start issuing later this week.
He noted that people can also request a cert if they have recovered from COVID within the past six months.
📢 Digital COVID Certs will be updated soon to reflect your additional vaccine.
The EU is applying a maximum 9 mth validity to certs based on a completed primary vaccination course.
You can also request a DCC of Recovery if you've recovered in the last 6months via online portal pic.twitter.com/VtGHkOHOqR
— Stephen Donnelly (@DonnellyStephen) January 5, 2022
The EU rules only apply to international travel; however, some European states have already adopted them for use in bars, restaurants and other venues.
In a statement this morning, the Department of Health said there were no plans to introduce a time limit on vaccine certs for domestic use.
Speaking after Cabinet this morning however, the Taoiseach Micheál Martin said boosters would eventually be needed to enter bars, restaurants and other venues that currently require vaccine passes.
While booster shots are known to protect against COVID-19 hospitalisation and severe disease, there is less data supporting their effectiveness in reducing transmission.
In September, researchers in Israel found that a third dose of Pfizer reduced infection among people aged over 60 by a factor of 11.3.
Meanwhile, a study published in the Lancet at the end of October found that vaccinated people who catch the virus are just as infectious as unvaccinated people – although they remain so for a shorter period of time.
The study notes that vaccinated people are less likely to pick up the virus in the first place and vaccines continue to be highly effective at preventing severe hospitalisation and death.