Estonia recognises US COVID-19 vaccination cards, most others

The Estonian social ministry has confirmed to Estonian World that the country does recognise the handwritten US coronavirus vaccination cards as proof of inoculation that will waive the travellers’ obligation to self-isolate; Estonia also recognises most other vaccination records.

People who have been vaccinated against the novel coronavirus in the United States know that the proof of their inoculation is a handwritten piece of carton that is relatively easy to counterfeit. Thus, Estonian World asked the Estonian authorities – can the Estonians who live in the US and want to travel to Estonia in the summer prove their COVID-19 vaccination prove it with the handwritten CDC note.

The media advisor at the Estonian social ministry, Eva Lehtla, confirmed that the US vaccination card is indeed valid in Estonia to prove one’s coronavirus inoculation. “The Estonian Health Board assured me that the document you presented (the US vaccination card – editor) is accepted at the Estonian border,” Lehtla told Estonian World. “However, they emphasised that the document can’t have any corrections detected by the plain eye.”

Lehtla said a proof of vaccination issued by another country than Estonia needs to be in the Latin or Cyrillic alphabet, in Estonian, Russian or English, and bear the person’s first and last name, the dates of the inoculation, the name and the dose of the vaccine, the number of the vaccine batch, the amount of the vaccine doses received and the name and other data of the entity that carried out the vaccination.

A medical professional administering a COVID-19 vaccine. Photo by Steven Cornfield on Unsplash.
A medical professional administering a COVID-19 vaccine. Photo by Steven Cornfield on Unsplash.

From outside of Europe, Estonia only admits travellers coming from Australia, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand. However, should any of these countries’ infection rate rise above 16 people per 100,000 inhabitants in the past 14 days, people arriving in Estonia from these countries will need to self-isolate for ten days.

Travellers coming from the United States will not be admitted in Estonia or any other European country. Still, Estonian citizens, including those who permanently live abroad, can always return to Estonia. Those who haven’t recovered from the novel coronavirus in the past six months or who haven’t completed a vaccination programme will need to self-isolate for ten days upon arrival.

Cover: The US COVID-19 vaccination card where the administering pharmacist or other medical professional handwrites the vaccination record.

2 thoughts on “Estonia recognises US COVID-19 vaccination cards, most others”

  1. It seems like there is a lot of confusing information out there. If we are vaccinated and US citizens we can travel to Estonia and not worry about self-quarantine but I have read this only applies if you were vaccinated non the last 6 months. What if you were vaccinated in February but plan on traveling to Estonia in September? Does that mean they don’t consider that vaccine valid any more?

    1. Hi Taavi,

      The current assumption is anyway that the vaccines are valid for six months. So you will need to repeat the vaccination cycle anyway, for your own protection. And in order for the immunity not to run out, you need to start with the next cycle about four and a half to five months after you received the second shot of your last cycle.

      But then again, if by that time the vaccine manufacturers have definitive proof that the immunity lasts longer–say, a year–and the governments who allow vaccinated travelers to not self-isolate upon arrival also believe that proof, they might extend this six-month period, too.

      It’s all a guessing game in this point, we’ll have to wait and see.

      (Oh, BTW, if you received your first dose in February, then you likely received your second dose in March. And the immunity will kick in about two weeks after the second shot. So, the six months will start counting when that two weeks ends–at least that’s my guess. And even if the six months will start counting from the date of the second vaccine, and if you received it in March, then you’re good until September, depending on the actual date of the vaccination and when you want to travel to Estonia.)

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