Travel | August 19, 2021 3:36 pm

You May Soon Need a Booster Shot for International Travel

Two European countries have already set expiry dates on vaccine certificates in light of the Delta variant

You May Soon Need a Booster Shot for International Travel
Getty

Were you among the first to jump on the vaccination train earlier this year? Turns out you may also be among the first of the inoculated segment of the population to require a booster to travel internationally.

According to a new report by Forbes, two European countries have already set expiry dates on vaccine certificates in the wake of the rising Delta variant. Last month, Croatia was the first to set a “maximum validity period” on vaccination certificates.

“Third-country nationals who are not family members of citizens of Schengen Member States and Schengen Associated States nor are long-term residents must have certificate that they have received two doses of vaccine used in the EU Member States not older than 270 days, provided that 14 days have passed since they received the second dose, or a certificate that they have received one dose of the vaccine, not older than 270 days, if the vaccine is administered in a single dose , provided that 14 days have passed since they received the single dose,” the Croatian government website says.

In similar fashion, the Austrian government just announced that they too will only consider vaccination cards valid for nine months from the time the shot was received.

“For single-shot vaccines, you must show that you received the vaccine more than 21 but no more than 270 days before arrival,” the Austrian government website now reads. “For double-shot vaccines, you must show that you have received the first injection more than 21 days but no more than 90 days before arrival, or the second injection no more than 270 days before arrival.”

And it seems likely that, based on how things are going right now, more countries will follow suit. Just last week, seven countries — Aruba, Eswatini, France, French Polynesia, Iceland, Israel and Thailand — were added (back) onto the “Level 4: Very High” risk category. In fact, Iceland’s COVID cases are currently at an all-time high despite boasting one of the highest vaccination rates in the world, potentially pointing to the need for a booster shot.

The good news is that this all comes after a secondary announcement that the booster shot for those who have received either Pfizer or Moderna is set to become available as early as next month. The bad news is … that we’re right back here. Again. And now potentially needing a third shot to travel. After just getting travel back.

It’s a somber reminder that we are still very much in the throes of a pandemic and that mindful travel is paramount. As guidance continues to change, we’d behoove you to heed the experts’ advice and exercise the utmost precaution the next time you hop on a plane. It would be nice to not have to revisit this every few months.