Update Great News: Iceland has already changed its requirements, and vaccination records no longer must show the person’s nationality and passport number. In addition U.S. lab results will be accepted for prior positive PCR test or antibody test results.
Starting Thursday, March 18th Iceland welcomes vaccinated visitors. Even Americans are eligible. However as I anticipated laying out problems with vaccine passports, U.S. CDC vaccination cards don’t qualify.
They’ll accept the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. Chinese vaccines, including those from Sinovac and Sinopharm, as well as Russia’s Sputnik vaccine are not accepted.
- They accept one dose of Johnson & Johnson, but two-dose regimen vaccines require both doses for validity
- There’s no waiting period after a second dose though
- The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine must show doses “at least with 19–42 days apart” – it’s unclear whether that means ’19 or more’ or what ‘at least’ means with respect to 42 days (would taking the second shot 43 days after the first one be disqualifying). For Moderna it’s “at least 28 days apart” without reference to a maximum time between doses, while rules for AstraZeneca specify “at least with 4–12 weeks apart.” This is potentially complicating for a country pursuing a ‘first doses first’ strategy.
Iceland requires a vaccination record that includes first and last name; date of birth; nationality; passport number; what vaccine was administered and against which disease; date of vaccination and manufacturer and lot number. U.S. CDC cards do not include nationality or passport number.
One possibly workaround is that proof of prior infection is accepted in lieu of vaccination. They will accept a positive PCR test more than 14 days old or a positive antibody test. Someone who has been vaccinated (even with one dose of a two-dose vaccine) may be able to get a positive antibody test, though Iceland may require that such a test come from a European lab.
There’s clearly still a lot to work out in terms of the role that vaccination plays in re-opening international borders, and what proof will be accepted, however that Iceland is doing this – and doing it tomorrow – gives me hope that Greece’s plan to open to Americans this summer will hold, and that other countries will join as well.