The evidence on mandatory Covid-19 vaccine certificates from six countries: Vaccine uptake increased

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  • The study looked at how Covid vaccine certificates impacted vaccination in six countries.
  • The study found that mandatory certification increased vaccination rates.
  • Vaccination also allows more young people to enjoy their social lives.

Covid-19 vaccine certification has increased vaccine uptake in six countries.

A new study published in Medrxiv, a preprint server, investigated the relationship between Covid-19 certification and vaccine uptake.

The study looked at six countries that have introduced vaccination certificates between May and August 2021. The countries are Denmark, Israel, Italy, France, Germany and Switzerland.

The researchers considered a country to be implementing mandatory certificates if it restricted access to at least some frequently used public venues such as restaurants or cultural events to people with a valid vaccination certificate.

The study authors compared daily vaccination statistics before and after vaccination certificates became compulsory for access to certain venues.

Higher uptake in younger people 

The study showed that mandatory Covid-19 certification led to a  sharp increase in vaccination rates before being introduced and had a long-lasting effect with above-average vaccination rates after implementation.

The findings show that Covid-19 certification led to increased vaccinations 20 days before implementation, lasting up to 40 days afterwards. Countries with lower than average pre-intervention vaccination uptake had a more noticeable increase.

For example, France had 1 749 589 doses in the period just before implementation and 772 563 doses afterwards.

The study results also show a higher uptake for people younger than 20 years and those between 20 and 29 years old. Restricted access linked to certain settings such as nightclubs, was associated with higher uptake in people below the age of 20 years.

Vaccination uptake was high in the youngest group but higher uptake was also observed in older age groups related to hospitality settings such as restaurants. 

The authors say that Covid certification could counter vaccine complacency and increase uptake.

“Youth and certain groups such as men and those from low socioeconomic environments demonstrate higher levels of vaccine complacency due to a lower assessment of the risk of Covid-19, suggesting certification could be one mechanism to increase uptake to reach vaccine immunity threshold levels to protect the broader population.

"Certification alone is not a  silver bullet to increase vaccine uptake, with other measures such as geographically targeted interventions being more effective for certain groups,” the authors wrote.

*For more Covid-19 research, science and news, click here. You can also sign up for our Daily Dose newsletter here.

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