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United denied COVID vaccine documentation - France entry

Hi all, just curious if anyone has experienced it:

We leave for France on Saturday. I uploaded our vaccine cards into the United app Travel Ready Center. My brother, who is a teacher, got his first doses early in Feb & March 2021, got his booster in Oct 1 2021. I got my first shots in March/April 2021, and a booster in November 2021. According to the France covid entry rules, I interpreted this to mean we would would be fine, we had our main series and then a booster within 9 months of the 2-shot series. Mine was accepted but his was denied. Maybe because his booster was >9 months ago as of July 1?

Do I:
try uploading it again and see if they accept it?
Wait until getting to the airport to see if the check in agents accept it?
Or do I just have him go get an antigen test tonight (within 48 hrs of flight to France) to be sure?

I'd have him go get a booster today but since we leave in 2 days I'm not sure that would help either. Seems like having him get a test is the most full-proof way of assuring that we won't have any issues. Any thoughts/advice appreciated!


Posted by
292 posts

Does his vaccine card have any "irregularities"? I had something similar happen when checking in to United (and coincidentally also a teacher with my booster in October 2021, although I was going to Canada and not France!). My booster shot is recorded on my vaccine card on a sticker that is fairly unceremoniously placed perpendicular to my other doses (I laminated my card, which in retrospect wasn't helpful) and the United website rejected it; I wonder if maybe their computer system didn't "recognize" all of the info on the card.

I went to my state health department website and downloaded my vaccine certificate as a PDF, uploaded that, and almost immediately it was accepted. If he was vaccinated in a state that keeps additional records he can access, that might be one thing to try.

Posted by
8931 posts

A booster now wouldn't do any good anyway - it takes seven days post-vaccine before it “counts.”

Posted by
97 posts

Oh! Thank you!!! I just remembered that his first name was accidentally spelled with an additional letter on his card (think Karenn instead of Karen). I wonder if that is what is triggering it. We will try getting a record from his doctor to upload. Otherwise, yes, antigen test it is!

Posted by
1259 posts

Hope you get it sorted out!

Reminder to others following the thread: Anything can go wrong so get your covid stuff together LONG before you think need it.

Posted by
97 posts

oh of course being prepared and doing things early is key!

None of the information available suggests that boosters >9m ago are not accepted so we had no way to know this in advance. The United system only opens the vaccine/testing documentation on the app/website 72 hours before departure. Glad I did this last night when our 72h window opened, gave us time to get it sorted out.

His updated record with correct name spelling was also denied, so it seems that if the booster was >9 months ago it's being denied by United (at least for us in this case). He scheduled a rapid antigen test for tomorrow so all should be well for us.

Thanks everyone!

Posted by
111 posts

You can show proof of vaccine to the desk agent at the airport and that will work. We had the same issue last summer heading to Iceland. United's document upload can be glitchy.

Posted by
451 posts

I think the upload system is being glitchy, and you'll be absolutely fine showing the vaccination paperwork at the airport. There is no rule that the booster has to be within nine months prior to travel. The nine month rule is that if the second dose of your 2-dose primary vaccination series was more than nine months ago, then you need a booster. And the booster has to be at least 7 days before your flight. There is no current expiration date on the boosters. This is from the embassy website:

French authorities require a traveler age 18 and over to receive a booster dose of an mRNA vaccine if it has been 9 months or more since the second dose (the single dose for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine) to be considered fully vaccinated for entry into France.  Travelers who received the booster more than 9 months after their second dose may still enter France, so long as one week has passed since they received the booster dose.      

Posted by
97 posts

oh I completely agree that the official documentation does not seem to indicate that, and I'm glad some of you have been able to jsut show it at the airport and not have issues. But I also don't want to show up to the airport and have any issues getting on our plane! So we will just get a test to make sure.

Posted by
5408 posts

Nobody is ever REQUIRED to upload ahead of time or use the app or an other digital way to show documents

You can ALWAYS show your docs at check in
You just won’t get a boarding pass until then
Not a big deal

Not everyone has smart phones or access to internet

We didn’t bother uploading anything for our return from Rome in May on United (negative test required then, passport)
No problem and our check in took only a few min