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Vaccine validity—No need to panic.

Edited: In an effort to hopefully calm some nerves over the vaccine validity time-frames, please take note of what the EU has recently said regarding the vaccine and booster.

The EU adopted a rule to make the covid certificate valid for nine months after the completion of the primary vaccination schedule. This rule applies to the original shots and not the booster. The EU has said there is not enough information about the duration of protection from boosters.

Vaccination certificates will be accepted by Member States for a
period of nine months since the administration of the last dose of the
primary vaccination.

As of yet, no standard acceptance period will apply to certificates
issued following the administration of booster doses, given that
sufficient data regarding the period of protection is not yet
available.

https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_21_6837

Keep in mind that Europeans also use the vaccine certificates. Once they are past 3 or 6 or 9 months from their boosters, they will be in same boat as us as tourists. With no second booster being offered yet, it’s reasonable to assume that in the future, if a second booster is not offered, the validity of the covid certificates (with the booster) will be extended or no longer used. Otherwise, no one in Europe will be able to dine in or ride the train or whatever else the certificates are used for. The rules will be changing in the future because they will have to. Please be patient and understand the rules in place today will not be the same rules in place months from now.

Sorry for the post 😊, but I hate to see so many people stressing themselves out when their trips are not for several months yet. The rules will be changing.

Posted by
8051 posts

Do you think you might be reading the same forum topic from different people too much?

Posted by
2852 posts

Yes Jazz, absolutely. 😊 Everyone time I check the forum, there’s a new recent post with someone worrying about the vaccine validity. I get the sense that a lot of people are not aware what the EU has said about the booster--quoted above. I’m trying to be helpful and maybe calm some nerves.

Posted by
41 posts

Sorry, Carrie, but nobody (including you) can say what the EU member countries will do; don't forget that they can easily shut down their respective countries at any time, and care little about "collateral damage". We booked a BOI tour (in October last) for the end of June, and our booster doses will have "expired" by then, but only by a very few weeks. We don't expect the situation in Italy to change significantly by then (120 days is not a long time), so we will likely cancel our trip by mid-February, for the second time in three years. 😧

Posted by
15657 posts

The EU can say anything it wants. Member states don't have to follow it. They can make their own stricter rules. And they have all during the pandemic.

Posted by
2852 posts

Absolutely Frank. And whatever time-limit a county has in place today is not set in stone. Otherwise, come 3, 6, or 9 months from now, no one (Europeans and tourists) will be able to do anything.

Posted by
6370 posts

Keep in mind that Europeans also use the vaccine certificates. Once they are past 3 or 6 or 9 months from their boosters, they will be in same boat as us as tourists. With no second booster being offered yet, it’s reasonable to assume that in the future, if a second booster is not offered, the validity of the covid certificates (with the booster) will be extended or no longer used. Otherwise, no one in Europe will be able to dine in or ride the train or whatever else the certificates are used for. The rules will be changing in the future because they will have to. Please be patient and understand the rules in place today will not be the same rules in place months from now.

Carrie, thank you for the jolt of reality. I've also been fretting, having received my second shot almost a year ago, and my booster will "age out" about 2 weeks before we're supposed to enter Italy.

So, deep breath. Wait and see what happens.

Posted by
9853 posts

This is a super effort to reassure people, Carrie, and I appreciate the effort you have put into it.

The problem is that it doesn't really matter what the EU says. Individual member states such as Italy and France have already enacted stricter measures, rendering this language from the EU basically meaningless.

In particular, meaningless for travelers who are looking for the nuts and bolts of what they have to do to be in compliance.

I am sorry if my response comes off as harsh, as I do really appreciate your effort.

Posted by
6113 posts

You are correct. Not all countries started their booster programmes at the same time, therefore their protection will wane at different times and policies will evolve. As with all things Covid, things will change between now and the end of the month, never mind what the situation will be in the spring and summer.

If people aren’t prepared to change their plans, even at very short notice, then now isn’t the time to be travelling, unless you book at very short notice when there would be more clarity.

Posted by
2852 posts

Hi Jane, one thing I learned last year, when several of us were waiting to see if we would be able to travel to Switzerland, is that the rules constantly change. I think it’s safe to assume that the rules in place today will not be the same rules in place several months from now. Have a great time in Italy!!! You will get there. 😊

Hi Kim, your response is not harsh at all and I appreciate your kind tone. I was just trying to point out that the time limits in place today, whatever they are, won’t necessarily be the time limits in place months from now. Otherwise, at some point in the future, everyone’s covid certificates will have expired.

Hi Jennifer, a good point—flexibility is key.

Posted by
684 posts

Carrie, thanks.

"With no second booster being offered yet, it’s reasonable to assume that in the future, if a second booster is not offered, the validity of the covid certificates (with the booster) will be extended or no longer used."

I think dissenters may be conflating "it is reasonable to assume" with "it is guaranteed." This statement certainly is reasonable. Now we can hope that European governments themselves act reasonably, which most of them do, fairly consistently.

Posted by
9853 posts

. I was just trying to point out that the time limits in place today, whatever they are, won’t necessarily be the time limits in place months from now.

And this is absolutely correct!

Posted by
1198 posts

This is NOT official, but it is being reported in the Italian press that, unless 4th doses are approved by the European and Italian health agencies, there will NOT be any timing-out of the Super Green Pass for those who are boosted on February 1st. (Links are in Italian, sorry...)

https://www.corriere.it/cronache/22_gennaio_23/green-pass-durata-scadenza-terza-dose-0f080cc8-7c63-11ec-8a2d-4c61d1a6b1fa.shtml

https://www.repubblica.it/cronaca/2022/01/23/news/green_pass_il_governo_valuta_la_proroga_oltre_i_sei_mesi_per_chi_ha_fatto_il_booster-334952628/?ref=RHTP-BH-I334578187-P2-S1-T1

As others have noted above, the target just keeps moving...

Posted by
113 posts

I emailed Rick Steves Tours as I fly to Italy for my tour with them on May 10th, 1 day after my booster becomes 6 months old. They basically said what has been discussed above, they expect the Italian government to change that or their own citizens will not be able to do anything let along tourists. However, if that does not happen they assured me they will issue a full refund for the tour for those affected! Great to hear but of course I'd rather be going to Italy! Fingers crossed.

Posted by
2852 posts

Lynn, that’s great to hear that RS continues to offer such a favorable refund policy. But, like you said, hopefully you won’t need it.

Posted by
4 posts

Does anyone have info around the 12-17 year olds? In Canada they have not approved a booster and my 12 year old will be at the 9 month mark come June. Just curious if this 9 month policy would apply to them?