Traveling to Europe might soon require a booster shot

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August 25, 2021

By | August 25, 2021

Croatia and Austria tighten entry requirements for fully vaccinated travelers

Since the release of the first COVID-19 vaccine last winter, the world has been on its toes observing the efficacy of the vaccines. With the spread of the delta variant and uncertainty about the strength of one’s inoculation over time, some countries have now started requiring a booster shot for fully vaccinated travelers.

COVID-19 vaccines to “expire” after 270 days since the last shot

Croatia was the first country in the European Union to set a time limit on the validity of one’s inoculationCroatia was the first country in the European Union to set a time limit on the validity of one’s inoculation — Shutterstock

In July, Croatia became the first country in the European Union to set a time limit on the validity of one’s inoculation. It will no longer accept travelers whose last shot was administered longer than 270 days (roughly nine months) of arrival in the country. 

To be able to enter the country after this time period passes, travelers must present a negative COVID-19 test result in accordance with the regulations

Following in the footsteps of Croatia, Austria has set a similar expiration date on their visitors’ vaccines.

“The vaccine certificate is valid for 270 days after the second dose for two-dose vaccines. In people with a past infection and one vaccination, it is valid for 270 days after that one dose. For vaccines that require only one dose, it is valid from the 22nd day for 270 days from vaccination,” the Austrian Tourism website states.

Booster shots will be available for Americans from September

Although Croatia and Austria are so far the only two EU countries to set an expiration date for the vaccines, more countries will likely follow suit. Also for this reason, the US plans to launch a booster shot program offering third mRNA jabs to fully vaccinated Americans.

“We are prepared to offer [Pfizer and Moderna] booster shots for all Americans beginning the week of September 20 and starting eight months after an individual’s second dose,” states the CDC website. “We also anticipate booster shots will likely be needed for people who received the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine.”

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