A Spaniard friend of mine is planning to travel to the USA. He has the vaccination certificate saying that he is fully vaccinated.

The problem is that, in Spain (and perhaps other countries) for patients who have already been infected within 6 months they are giving them a single shot, instead of the two shots for vaccines that would normally requires two. This is an official policy with certain Scientist backing since those patients what they want is to boost their already acquired immunity.

In his documents he is described as fully vaccinated having 1/1 required shots. Speaking to higher representatives in his province, they explained that this is enough for traveling within Europe, but, they are unsure about USA.


He is planning to come in December, meaning that by that time USA border will follow the new policy that allows EU citizens to visit USA as long as they are vaccinated.

  • 1
    As already mentioned, the wording of the new US rules are not yet known, but almost without exeption, it is the accepting country and not the issuing country which define the requirements to be counted as fully vaccinated and there are plenty of differences in the details even between European countries. I am pretty sure that there are European countries as well, who would not allow your friend to enter with a single vaccine shot, even though the Spanish authorities think differently. Commented Oct 14, 2021 at 9:51
  • Spain's policy is causing all sorts of issues by being out-of-step with much of the rest of the world; see this question for a very similar issue with UK entry.
    – MadHatter
    Commented Oct 14, 2021 at 10:58
  • @MadHatter this is also the case of Germany (reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/…) Commented Oct 14, 2021 at 15:42
  • And france bbc.com/news/world-europe-56048444 Commented Oct 14, 2021 at 15:43
  • And Italy as described in the reuters link Commented Oct 14, 2021 at 15:44

2 Answers 2


Although the rules for who exactly will be allowed to enter the US when the covid policy changes have not been finalized yet, the CDC has today published some interim guidance on interpretation of vaccine records, which seems likely to be very close to the eventual regulations. This guidance states that

[P]eople are considered fully vaccinated:

  • 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, or
  • 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine

The guidance then goes on to say that other WHO-approved vaccines, such as AstraZeneca/Oxford, are also covered under this guidance, and to provide advice for interpreting vaccination records of people who received doses of two different types of vaccine.

There is, however, no exemption mentioned for recovered people to receive only one dose of a vaccine deigned to be given as a two-dose series. Therefore, while nothing is written in stone yet, it does not seem likely that your friend will be able to enter the United States with their current documentation.


Current (October 2021) policy from https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/united-states:

There are no vaccination requirements for visitors to the United States.

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    That is true as for now, but starting November EU citizen will be accepted in USA as long as they are vaccinated. He is planning to come on Dec Commented Oct 13, 2021 at 18:49
  • 6
    @VicenteBolea Because we do not know the exact text of the US rules to be implemented in November, we do not know if your friend's single vaccination shot will be accepted by the US as satisfactory for entry. Commented Oct 13, 2021 at 19:05

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