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Within PHIRI, the Population Health Information Research Infrastructure, a Rapid Exchange Forum (REF) on COVID-19 developments is organized every two weeks. In this one hour meeting, the participants belonging to European public health institutes, Ministries of Health, research institutions and universities as well as EU-level stakeholders answer questions and discuss experiences from their own countries related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Each meeting is organized around a topic or set of topics of timely relevance to the participating countries, and answers to the questions are shared during the meeting as well as in writing immediately before or after the meetings. This allows a rapid exchange of information across countries to learn from each other’s challenges and best practices, and compare e.g. vaccination-, testing-, and communication strategies, reaction to new variants, mortality indicators, long-term pandemic monitoring and surveillance, and beginning impact evaluations of the pandemic. The answers to questions discussed during the REF meetings are uploaded to the Health Information Portal at the latest by the end of the week in which each meeting takes place.

Topic Question Date Document(s)
31st Rapid Exchange Forum: Health screening for refugees from Ukraine

Health screening for refugees from Ukraine

  • Is there any health screening protocol that is being put in place for arriving refugees from Ukraine in your country at the moment (concerning COVID-19 and/or other screenings)?
  • COVID-19 certificates from Ukraine have been established as equivalent to EU certificates in the Commission Implementing Decision 2021/1380. Are there mandatory stipulations for entry of refugees arriving to your country from Ukraine when it comes to COVID-19 vaccination status, and/or is there a non-mandatory vaccination offer for arriving refugees?
  • Are (and if so how are) additional vaccinations and vaccination history recorded for refugees from Ukraine in your country?
30th Rapid Exchange Forum: Long-term surveillance strategies

Long-term pandemic monitoring and surveillance

  • Was the 'state-of-emergency' activated in your country when the pandemic hit, or other emergency legislation set in place in order to set up a COVID-19 monitoring and surveillance system, including regulations for data access and linkage of data sources? Did your constitution already include such mechanisms before COVID-19?
  • As a state of emergency or emergency decrees are temporary, what will happen to your COVID-19 monitoring mechanism in the long run? Has a long-term strategy been developed to ensure the continuity of surveillance of COVID-19 and research?
29th Rapid Exchange Forum: Long COVID management

Long COVID management

Are there existing or planned processes for coordinated management of care for long COVID patients in your country?

If yes, please describe/share:

  • tools for (differential) diagnosis / symptom screening for clinicians?
  • standardised treatment pathways for long COVID patients?
  • patient information material about long COVID?
  • registries of long COVID patients?
28th Rapid Exchange Forum: Green pass updates

Overview of current national / international duration of “vaccination passes” / “recovered passes”

1. What is the duration of your digital certificates / vaccination passes on a national or international level (in case there is a difference)?

2. Please explain:

  • if there is any difference between the vaccine given (i.e. AZ/ Pfizer/ Moderna/ J&J/ other)?
  • if there is any difference when persons are boostered or not?
27th Rapid Exchange Forum: Omicron wave

Daily new infections are increasing at tremendous pace throughout Europe due to the Omicron variant

  • Are there any (further) containment measures (i.e. closure of businesses, closure of bars, closure of schools/kindergardens, restrictions in private or public gatherings, wearing nose-mouth masks indoor/outdoor) planned in your country? If yes, which measures? If not, please kindly explain reasons for not introducing any measures?
  • If you are using risk classification systems to assess the current epidemiological risk in your country/its regions (“traffic light” systems): have you made or are you planning to make changes to them (indicators, thresholds)?
26th Rapid Exchange Forum: Omicron variant

OMICRON - SARS CoV 2 B.1.1.529 variant of concern

  • What is the state of play regarding the recent VOC 'Omicron' in your country?
  • Has your country implemented new/adapted measures specifically to address the threat posed by the spread of the Omicron variant? (Or are such measures planned?)
25th Rapid Exchange Forum: COVID-19 vaccinations for children

Covid-19 vaccinations for children

In the light of the recent EMA decision:

  • Do you currently have a specific vaccination strategy for children below 12 years? Yes/No
  • If yes, please share further information.
  • If yes, to what extent schools, school doctors and nurses will provide Covid-19 vaccinations for children?
24th Rapid Exchange Forum: False certificates

1. Fake certificates

  • What is the state of play on fake certificates in your country?
  • Is there information on the number of false certificates available in your country?
  • Do you have information on whether fake vaccination certificates are purchased for domestic use or cross-border travel?
  • To what extend is border control aware of false certificates in your country?


2. Brief report on updated Nonpharmaceutical Interventions / Measures

23rd Rapid Exchange Forum: Health workforce health

Health of healthcare workers (HCW)

  • What kind of monitoring is your country doing to protect the health of HCW?
  • What factors are you looking at, when it comes to protection of HCW? (e.g. anxiety, depression, burnout, …)
  • Is data on the health of HCW collected routinely in your country?
22nd Rapid Exchange Forum: Tourism and testing

Tourism - Payment policy / testing policy

1. Who is or should be paying COVID-19-tests for tourists in your country?

2. Does your country have a specific testing strategy for tourism in place?

  • If yes, please share further information.