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URGENT: Tell the EU Commission To End the COVID Passport, Planned to Extend until June 2023
Proposed changes incl. more injections, counting the no. of jabs already, and new variant-specific injections (sic) to allow you to retain your 'right' to free movement
My dear readers, as it happens, the EU Commission styles itself to be a ‘pioneer’ in ‘digital Covid Passport solutions’ or whatever kind of PR/agit-prop spin you’d like to call it.
As the deadline for public comments ends tomorrow, 8 April, I would like to invite you all to engage in a little ‘clicktivism’, venture over to the website of the EU Commission, and make your voice heard (registration required).
Here’s a direct link to the proposed regulation (but also see below for excerpts).
Commenting may be done anonymously, and it is possible to do so without being a EU citizen.
The EU Commission’s Proposal: why you should care
This is taken from the introductory framing of the proposal (p. 1, references omitted, emphases mine):
The right of Union citizens to move and reside freely within the European Union…is one of the Union’s most cherished achievements, and an important driver of its economy. At the same time, the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (‘COVID‑19’) pandemic continues to pose an extraordinary threat to public health across the Union…
To facilitate safe free movement during the COVID-19 pandemic, the European Parliament and the Council adopted, on 14 June 2021, Regulation (EU) 2021/9531 establishing the EU Digital COVID Certificate framework for the issuance, verification and acceptance of interoperable COVID-19 vaccination, test and recovery certificates…Where Member States waive certain restrictions on free movement for persons in the possession of proof of vaccination, test or recovery, the EU Digital COVID Certificate allows citizens to profit from these exemptions.
Since its adoption, the EU Digital COVID Certificate has been successfully rolled out across the Union, with more than 1 billion certificates issued by the end of 2021…Almost all Member States also use the EU Digital COVID Certificate for domestic purposes, with studies estimating that its use has resulted in increased vaccination uptake, lower hospital admissions, fewer economic losses and, most importantly, fewer deaths.
This deserves notice, for while I omitted the footnote in the proposal at the end of the cited paragraph, here’s what it links to: a working paper by the Brussels-based Bruegel think-tank. Entitled, ‘The effect of COVID certificates on vaccine uptake, public health, and the economy’, it was published on 17 Jan. 2022 and is currently ‘under review’. Direct link to the PDF.
Bruegel’s Thinking Tanks
As you can see, the EU Commission’s proposal cites that working paper, whose authors ‘admit’ that they only looked at Germany, Italy, and France (which, in and of itself, is telling you enough about the ‘almost all member states’—that matter—phrase used above), and in their ‘Discussion’ (pp. 7-8, my emphases) hold the following:
COVID certificates have had a sizeable, robust positive effect on vaccination rates, health outcomes, and the economy in France, Germany, and Italy. In our analysis, we aimed to make prudent assumptions on model inputs such as vaccine effectiveness and lags between infection and health outcomes. In addition to the evaluated temporary effect, the incentives created by COVID certificates may be lasting, as parts of the population might have remained unvaccinated without the intervention…
Even though COVID certificates were introduced in similar contexts…the magnitude of the impact varies significantly from one country to the other and reversed previous trends associated with vaccine hesitancy, and lack of trust in science and government. Understanding these differences deserves attention. Factors could be the various ways in which COVID certificates were announced and the extent of their use…
COVID certificates appear to be an attractive, more inclusive alternative to vaccine mandates, focusing on the added benefits of getting vaccinated or tested rather than on punitive measures for not doing so. As countries grapple with the highly contagious Omicron variant, COVID certificates might play a decisive role in increasing and maintaining vaccine-induced protection.
This is absurd on so many levels, including the most striking, if glaringly obvious, ‘admissions’:
Paragr. 1: it’s about injection uptake, but it’s all based on ‘prudent assumptions on model inputs’, i.e., make-believe. No mention is made of lack of data 2-3 months post-booster injections, the increasing risk of infection post-injection, and the like.
Paragr. 2: again, it’s about reducing ‘vaccine hesitancy, and lack of trust in science and government’. Dear authors, if there was transparency and the like, you’d need not worry about the suspicion of the population, ain’t it?
Paragr. 3: it says it all, doesn’t it? I personally find the language particularly telling and objectionable: ‘added benefits’ for participating in a medical experiment? These injections don’t do anything about ‘the highly contagious Omicron variant’, hence why push them? Finally, how is a QR code or a piece of paper going to ‘play a decisive role in increasing and maintaining vaccine-induced protection’? I mean, I’m not a medical doctor, but I don’t see how these things do anything about (for) my protection since the available injections don’t stop transmission or infection…
Back to the Commission’s Proposal
Here’s what is says in the following (pp. 1-2):
By 31 January 2022, the three non-EU European Economic Area countries, Switzerland and 29 other third countries and territories are connected to the EU Digital COVID Certificate system, with more expected to join in the future. The EU Digital COVID Certificate system has been recognised as one of the key digital solutions to restore international mobility, with the International Air Transport Association urging countries to adopt the EU Digital COVID Certificate as the global standard. The Commission will continue its efforts to support third countries interested in developing interoperable COVID-19 certificate systems.
That Covid Passport won’t just go away either, hence (p. 3; emphases mine):
It cannot be excluded that Member States continue to require Union citizens exercising their right to free movement to present proof of COVID-19 vaccination, test or recovery beyond 30 June 2022, that is, the date when Regulation (EU) 2021/953 is currently set to expire. It is thus important to avoid that Union citizens and their family members are deprived of the possibility to make use of their EU Digital COVID Certificates, which are an effective, secure and privacy-preserving way of proving one’s COVID-19 status, in the event that certain restrictions to free movement based on public health are still in place after 30 June 2022.
At the same time, given that any restrictions to the free movement of persons within the Union put in place to limit the spread of SARS-CoV-2, including the requirement to present EU Digital COVID Certificates, should be lifted as soon as the epidemiological situation allows, the Commission proposes to limit the extension to 12 months. Furthermore, the extension of the Regulation should not be understood as requiring Member States, in particular those that lift domestic public health measures, to maintain or impose free movement restrictions.
I doubt you’d like me to go through this BS like I would if this was a student paper (it’s illogical and absurd, there’s no evidence connected to this, and outright contradictory—F).
Instead, I fear we must read this as if it was written by a bunch of true believers in the ‘magic’ of these genetic injections.
Scientific progress also takes place in other areas of the fight against COVID-19, in particular vaccination. Vaccine manufacturers continue the development of new and/or adapted COVID-19 vaccines, and studies are carried out regarding the continued effectiveness of existing ones. It is necessary to ensure that the EU Digital COVID Certificate system can adapt to new developments in this area, such as a possible rollout of COVID-19 vaccines targeting SARS-CoV-2 variants. This progress may require future adaptations to the information included in the vaccination certificate, in particular regarding the COVID-19 vaccines administered…
In particular in light of the emergence of new SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern, the continued development and study of COVID-19 vaccines remains crucial. In this context, it is important to facilitate the participation of volunteers in clinical trials, that is, studies performed to investigate the safety or efficacy of a medicine, such as a COVID-19 vaccine. Clinical research plays a fundamental role in the development of vaccines. Voluntary participation in clinical trials should therefore be encouraged. Depriving volunteers from access to EU Digital COVID Certificates could constitute a major disincentive to participate, delaying the conclusion of clinical trials and negatively impacting public health more generally. In addition, the integrity of clinical trials, including in terms of data blinding and confidentiality, should be preserved to ensure the validity of their results.
And on p. 5 (my emphases), we see the ‘logic’ (fallacy) of sunk investments at work:
The Commission is putting forward this proposal prior to the adoption of the second report in order to ensure that, for reasons of legal certainty, the necessary legislative procedure can be concluded sufficiently in time before June 2022. At the same time, this proposal builds on an analysis of the different aspects to be covered in that report. For the reasons set out in this proposal, the Commission considers that the EU Digital COVID Certificate has positively affected free movement within the EU, given that its absence would likely have resulted in the development of incompatible national solutions. To widen the scope of the different types of vaccines accepted, the Commission proposes to include COVID-19 vaccines undergoing clinical trials.
Sorry, Mr. Berenson, but your reading was dead-wrong.
I take no pleasure in pointing this out, because when my wife and I listened to the EMA Technical Briefing, dated 11 Jan. 2022, we had hoped for something else after reading Mr. Berenson’s ‘note’—yet, instead of an end of the nightmare, the EMA doubled down. I fear Mr. Berenson simply relied on the media instead of actually listening to what the EUrokratura said, and the above proposal bears this out.
The Shape of Things to Come
Still, credit shall be given where credit is due: the EU Commission is correct in noting that the absence of a joint EU/EAA-wide policies would have ‘resulted in the development of incompatible national solutions’.
Yet, I suggest that the result—the proposal of an extension of the Covid Passport system ahead of the report that assesses the system in the first place—is telling anyone who cares (enough) about this issue what is going to happen:
Covid Passports will be retained.
EU policy, in particular ‘subsidiarity’ (basically the equivalent of the states’ rights clause in the US Constitution), will ensure that whatever the Commission decides will be nothing but ‘the lower bound’, i.e., Brussels will not do anything if member states will do ‘more’.
Changes Include, Specifically (p. 9; my emphases)
A broadening of the definition of SARS-CoV-2 tests that rely on the detection of viral proteins (antigens) to include antigenic assays performed in a laboratory setting and not only rapid antigen tests that give results in less than 30 minutes…
An explicit clarification that vaccination certificates are to contain the number of doses administered to the holder, regardless of the Member State in which they have been administered, to make sure that the overall number actually administered is accurately reflected.
A clarification that EU Digital COVID Certificates may also be issued to persons participating in clinical trials for COVID-19 vaccines, and that such certificates may be accepted by other Member States in order to waive restrictions to free movement. …
An extension by 12 months of the period of application set out in Article 17 of Regulation (EU) 2021/953, as well as of the power to adopt delegated acts set out in its Article 12.
In summary: more injections are in the works, and there will be more biological products coming in the near-term.
Please tell the Commission What You Think
Go to the Commissions dedicated ‘feedback’ website by clicking on the link, register with the EU, and tell them to stop. You may do so anonymously, as a Non-/EU or EEA citizen, and a bunch of other options.
Feedback is open until 8 April. I shall provide you with my comment in a subsequent post.