Update on COVID Vaccines, Boosters, and Omicron Variant for January & Spring 2022 Students

Jan 5, 2022 8:06:00 PM

Dear CIS Community,

We are excited to be sending CIS Abroad students to Hawaii, Spain, Ireland, Costa Rica, England, Italy, Czech Republic, Thailand, and South Korea during January and Spring terms. Our January term students in Spain and Italy have all arrived safely and securely. 

The spread of the Omicron COVID variant continues to be concerning to us and to our international community, despite early indications that the illness is milder. We may continue to see COVID case numbers rise over the coming months in many of the locations where we are operating. We will communicate with you if there are any changes that will impact arrivals in any significant way. 

We DO NOT anticipate that any country or location where we are operating will impose any measure that would prohibit participants from arriving as scheduled.  

Current CDC policies and regulations have changed and include new guidelines for vaccinated individuals regarding isolation and boosters:

Here’s how the guidelines apply to our participants: 

  • Participants who test positive for COVID-19 before departure from the US now need to isolate for 5 days and not 10. However, depending on their program destination, different host country rules may apply for their eventual arrival. 
  • Boosters - CDC Recommendations:
    • If a participant received the Pfizer for their first two doses, the new recommendation is to receive their booster after 5 months.
    • If a participant received the Moderna for their first two doses, the recommendation has not changed; it’s still 6 months.
    • If a participant received the Johnson & Johnson for their first and only dose, the recommendation has not changed: it’s still 2 months

Many countries are beginning to require boosters for people to be considered fully vaccinated if more than 6 months has passed since the original vaccination. By getting a booster, if eligible, before studying abroad, participants will save the time and trouble of having to get boosted while abroad. If a participant is not yet eligible for a booster, we will do everything we can to help them secure a booster while abroad.  

We require all participants to be vaccinated, and strongly encourage all January and Spring students to get a booster prior to leaving for their program abroad, especially with the contagious nature of the Omicron variant. 

We are continuing to:

  • Monitor daily news in every location where students will be studying in 2022
  • Monitor flight changes and delays.
  • Monitor the international border entry rules and regulations for any changes
  • Read through US State Department Safety and Security Reports 
  • Remain in regular communication with our staff onsite
  • Remain in frequent contact with partner universities around the world
  • Communicate any significant changes that we hear with students

With hopes for a health and happy new year,

Joe Debiec and the CIS Abroad International Operations Team