The Washington Post just ran a story entitled, Do I need a covid booster shot to travel? 5 things to consider. The story brings up an important factor for people planning their travels, something I’m sure many people haven’t considered before.
We all know that most of Europe, as well as other countries around the world, are either requiring travelers to be fully vaccinated before arrival or are heading in that direction. There will be some destinations that won’t require vaccinations for, at least, the short term but that list is getting shorter and shorter.
New Vaccination Requirements for Travelers
But as scientists and doctors continue to learn about the virus and the effectiveness of the vaccines, a new consideration is arising for travelers: Some countries will start requiring that travelers will either need to have had their second vaccine dose within a certain time frame, or get a booster to enter.
A question that was posed in the article was: Will vaccine mandates eventually include a third dose? Their expert, Patrick Kenney, an infectious-disease specialist at Cleveland Clinic Weston Hospital in Florida, said, “It’s hard to say if or when that might happen. But a couple of European countries so far — Austria and Croatia — have said vaccine certificates for entering the country will only be valid for 270 days after the final dose.”
For those calculating like I did, 270 days is 38.5 weeks or 8.8 months (yes, I used a calculator).
It looks like Austria and Croatia aren’t the only two countries putting forth these requirements. After doing a little research, I see Switzerland states, “The vaccine must have been administered in full within the past 12 months.”
I imagine there will be plenty more following suit and if the vaccine only protects people for 6 months, then expect these time frames to decrease.
It’s a whole new world out there so when planning your trips, make sure to find out if the country you’re going to has a requirement, not only if vaccines are required but also when you had to have received your last dose by. There’s now a good chance that travelers will either need to get a booster (if one is offered) or pick a new destination.
KEEP IN MIND: Like everywhere these days, nothing is set in stone. The rules and requirements are constantly changing so continue to keep checking if anything changes leading up to your trip, including the day before.