What to know about vaccine recalls and restrictions for international travel

What to know about vaccine recalls and restrictions for international travel

Israel’s policy is currently the closest to that of Switzerland, but it is subject to change again. A second or third shot is only valid for six months, so under those rules someone who got their recall in December couldn’t get in in June or July unless a fourth shot becomes available. But according to Tourist Israel, a tour operator who follow the rules closely, the country is expected to waive callback deadlines in March. (Exceptions are currently made for those who can present a certificate of recovery from Covid.)

In some cases, for example in France and Estonia, there are validity periods for complete vaccinations without a booster (nine months for France and one year for Estonia). Because these countries prohibit tourists from the United States and certain other countries from visiting if they are not fully vaccinated, this means that a traveler who received their second Moderna vaccine before May 17 cannot enter France. unless he receives a reminder first. Having a reminder makes it easier when it comes to time constraints, because these places treat reminders as a kind of extra dose without an expiration.

Ireland and the Czech Republic treat anyone who received their second dose more than nine months ago as if they were unvaccinated. Croatia takes the same approach, but makes it longer than a year. But their governments do not bar entry to unvaccinated American tourists. A traveler who received their second Moderna vaccine before May 17 could take a test or get a booster to enter these countries.

Not currently.

Austria, for example, does not consider a person fully vaccinated unless they have received the booster. But travelers who do not meet this requirement can still enter the country by testing negative on a PCR test.

One reason, Ms. Bonga said, is to encourage people to get reminders.

There is also evidence that coronavirus vaccines stop providing as much protection as time goes on.

It can happen. Getting the answer to Mr. Henretta’s question about traveling to Switzerland, for example, was far from simple. The fact that the last injection of a vaccine expired after 270 days was clear, but some sources could not agree on whether or not unvaccinated Americans could enter the country. A representative for the country information line for travelers suggested they might; in this case, Mr. Henretta could simply provide a negative test result. Swiss International Air Lines initially offered the same answer on its website and by email. But the State Secretariat for Migration, two representatives of the Swiss Tourist Office and the official Swiss entry tool took a different position: unvaccinated and partially vaccinated American tourists could not enter. Finally, a representative from Swiss International Air Lines clarified that while unvaccinated visitors from certain countries can enter with a test, unvaccinated Americans cannot because the United States is currently classified as a high-risk country.

In the end, almost everyone finally agreed: Mr. Henretta couldn’t take his long-booked flight unless a fourth shot became available or the rules changed, which happens quite frequently.