When I received my covid-19 booster in New York City just over a week ago, I left the appointment with a distinctive lack of confidence. Not about the vaccination, no, that was great, but about being able to prove my renewed status digitally.
After receiving the Moderna booster I wanted to know when I could expect the vaccination record to show up in my digital New York State ‘Excelsior Pass’ wallet, in response to a growing number of countries requiring digital, rather than paper proof, and or adding goalposts of vaccination dose expiration dates.
The response was basically shrugged shoulders and maybe a couple weeks?
At that point in time, New York State hadn’t announced a mechanism to add boosters to the digital Excelsior Pass, and many feared that digital proof of their latest shot may prove difficult to achieve.
For people eager to visit countries where this digital proof matters, travel plans would need to be on hold, until dependable answers presented themselves.
Over night, New York added a ‘Excelsior Pass Plus’, which is an updated version of the pass offered to anyone who’s received a booster, and for international travel plans, it’s keeping hopes alive.
Excelsior Pass Plus
So far, my experience hasn’t been perfect (I’ll need to have Walgreens correct some information before I receive my Plus pass), but New Yorkers who have received their booster can now sign up to Excelsior Pass Plus, rather than just Excelsior Pass.
This new setup offers the latest updated booster information and is the next iteration of the original Excelsior Pass. A full FAQ on the pass can be found here.
Why This Matters For Travel
Obviously, it’s good to know about a way to update your vaccination records to reflect the latest information for an endless number of reasons.
But as noted, countries are becoming much stricter with what counts for anyone who wishes to enter quarantine free. Most countries accept US CDC vaccination cards, but some don’t. Some now insist that a digital, scannable form of proof be presented.
In addition, many are creating new goal posts where someone is no longer eligible for entry, if it’s been more than either 6 months, 9 months or 1 year from the last received dose. This means having up to date booster information is vital to being admitted for travel into a growing list of countries.
If you’ve received your New York State covid-19 vaccination booster, be sure to add your information to the new Excelsior Pass Plus. It may open doors not only in New York, but internationally too. And yes, you should carry the paper card too!