Are you planning a travel to another country in 2022? Before you depart, you might need a Covid-19 booster shot. Being “completely vaccinated” now has an expiration date in a growing number of countries.
Last summer, when the delta strain of the coronavirus was spreading over the world and research demonstrated that vaccination protection fades with time, this trend began to appear.
Croatia was the first country to set a maximum validity term for Covid-19 immunization certificates, which it did in July. Initially, the Balkan state mandated that travelers be fully vaccinated no later than nine months prior to their arrival. Since then, the timeframe has been extended to one year prior to arrival.
According to the Croatian government website, American travelers and others from outside the European Union must present a “certificate that they have received two doses of vaccine used in the EU Member States (Pfizer, Moderna, AstaZeneca, Gamaleya, Sinopharm) not older than 365 days, or a certificate that they have received one dose of the vaccine if the vaccine is administered in a single dose (Janssen/Johnson&Johnson) not older than 365 days.”
Austria declared in August that its vaccine certificate is only valid for nine months following full vaccination. This was also extended to roughly a year later. “For 2-dose immunizations, the vaccine certificate is valid for 360 days following the second dose,” according to the Austrian Tourism website. “It is valid for 360 days after one dosage in persons who have had a previous infection plus one immunization.” If you’ve had a third, supplementary, or booster immunization, it’s good for 360 days after the third shot.”
Vaccines that only require one dosage are considered valid in Austria from the 22nd day following the dose and for 270 days from the immunization date. Travelers who have recovered from Covid-19 can enter Austria for up to 180 days after the infection if they can show proof of a negative antibody test taken 90 days prior to their arrival.
Switzerland opened its doors to fully vaccinated American travelers last month. However, according to Swiss health officials, a person is fully vaccinated “for a period of 12 months from the date of complete immunization.”