My mom wants to travel to USA as a tourist. She has a medical contraindication to receiving a covid vaccine. I wonder how to apply for a waiver to covid vaccine requirement and if it is even possible to obtain one.


1 Answer 1


The CDC site says (my emphasis)

Non-U.S. citizen, non-U.S. immigrants: You must show proof of being fully vaccinated with the primary series of an accepted COVID-19 vaccine before you board your flight to the United States. Only limited exceptions apply.

If you scroll down to near the bottom, there is a link to the exceptions in this paragraph.

Air Travel: All non-U.S. citizen, non-U.S. immigrants traveling to the United States by air are required to show proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Only limited exceptions apply. Learn more about this requirement and accepted vaccines.

That link has this to say about valid exceptions:

Persons with documented medical contraindications to receiving a COVID-19 vaccine

So technically your mother can travel if she receives an exemption. It goes on to say

If you travel by air to the United States under one of these exceptions, you will be required to attest that you are excepted from the requirement to present Proof of Being Fully Vaccinated Against COVID-19 based on one of the exceptions listed above

However I have no clue as to how the airlines will respond to this, or even what constitutes proof.

Down at the bottom of that last page is a FAQ on exceptions.

What do I need to show if I have a medical contraindication to receiving a COIVID-19 vaccine?

You must show a letter from a licensed physician documenting the medical contraindication to the airline or aircraft operator before boarding a flight to the United States.

The letter

  • Must be signed and dated on official letterhead that contains contact information (name, address, and phone number) of a licensed healthcare provider.

  • Must clearly state that you have a medical contraindication to receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. The name of the COVID-19 vaccine product and the medical condition must both be listed.

    • Medical contraindications to COVID-19 vaccination include immediate or severe allergic reaction (e.g., anaphylaxis) after a previous dose or component of a COVID-19 vaccine or known allergy to a component of a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Must have sufficient personally identifiable information (full name plus at least one other identifier such as date of birth or passport number) to confirm that the letter matches with your passport or other travel information.

If your letter is in a language other than English, check with your airlines or aircraft operator to find out if translation of the letter is necessary for their review.

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