Worried that your COVID-19 vaccine will not be accepted abroad?This is what you need to know
Already vaccinated and ready to travel? Before booking a trip, make sure your destination can recognize your COVID-19 vaccine. As some Canadian travelers have discovered, not all COVID-19 vaccines are considered equal.
The following is the latest news about vaccines distributed in Canada that may cause problems for foreign travelers.
Mixed dose problem
Some countries will not recognize that travelers who have received mixed vaccines have been fully vaccinated, which may cause problems for the government Millions of Canadians Whose dose does not match.
When mixed-dose travelers (including Chris Storey in London, Ontario) discovered that they had to be quarantined when visiting Barbados, the problem first surfaced because they were not considered fully vaccinated.
“It’s very frustrating; it’s ridiculous,” Storey Tell CBC News Earlier this month.
However, Barbados subsequently changed its policy Identify travelers with mixed doses.
But nearby Trinidad and Tobago has not yet changed its Mixed vaccine policyThe country only allows tourists who mix AstraZeneca and Pfizer to skip the quarantine. No other combinations can be recognized there.
The government of Trinidad and Tobago did not answer questions about the reasons for its policy.
U.S. position on mixed doses
The United States also does not approve mixed use of the COVID-19 vaccine—but there are some exceptions.
“The COVID-19 vaccine is not interchangeable,” Jasmine Reed, a spokesperson for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), said in an email. “The safety and effectiveness of receiving two different COVID-19 vaccines have not been studied.”
However, the CDC stated Mixed dose of two mRNA vaccinesPfizer and Moderna will be accepted under “special circumstances”, such as when the vaccine used for the first dose is no longer available.
CDC’s position does not affect Canadians entering the United States by air, as they only need to provide proof COVID-19 test negative.
However, if the United States mandates vaccination when it reopens its Canada-US land border to travelers, those with mixed doses may find themselves excluded from land travel.
The CDC’s position has caused problems for some Canadians who have booked cruise ships that call in the U.S.
Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) It is not admitted that anyone with mixed doses has been vaccinated. Several other cruise ships It is not possible to identify people who use a combination of AstraZeneca and mRNA vaccines.
Bryan Holgate from Osoyoos, British Columbia, is scheduled to take the NCL for a transatlantic cruise in November. But Holgate said that if the cruise company maintains its current vaccine policy, he will have to cancel it next month-when his full payment is due.
“We received the last payment at the end of September — we were talking about $20,000,” said Holgate, who owns both Pfizer and Moderna.
“[NCL] To be absolutely clear, the Pfizer-Modern hybrid is unacceptable. That… let me hold my breath. “
Mixed-dose Canadians may also be prohibited from entering U.S. locations where certain state regulations require proof of vaccination.
Large-scale indoor concert Performances in New York City next month — such as The Eagles and An Evening with Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett — require audiences to be fully vaccinated.
The New York State Department of Health stated that it follows CDC guidelines and does not believe that people who mix AstraZeneca and mRNA vaccines are fully vaccinated-at least not yet.
Department spokesperson Samantha Fuld said in an email: “It is important to remember that as more data becomes available, the CDC COVID-19 vaccine recommendations may change in the future.”
COVISHIELD in Europe and AstraZeneca
Canadians who travel to Europe to get an AstraZeneca vaccine may encounter different problems.
Europe approved However, Vaxzevria, AstraZeneca’s European-made version, has not yet authorized COVISHIELD, the Indian-made version of the same vaccine.
Therefore, Canadian tourists traveling to countries that have received this particular vaccine cannot take advantage of the privileges provided to fully vaccinated travelers, such as exemption from isolation or COVID-19 testing.
More than 80,000 Canadians Take at least one dose of COVISHIELD.
Fortunately for these Canadians, the list of European countries receiving the vaccine is increasing. According to the BBC, Several popular destinations, such as Spain, Greece and Iceland, Accept COVIDSHIELD. France Joined this team last week.
British also Identify COVISHIELDHowever, Canadians who travel to the area and are vaccinated must still be quarantined regardless of the type of vaccine they are vaccinated.Although the United Kingdom Exempt now Although Americans and Europeans are fully vaccinated, the same privileges have not been extended to Canadians.
A spokesperson for the UK Department of Transport said in an email: “We are taking a phased approach to restart international travel while protecting public health.”
Will the rules change?
Dr. Alexander Wong, an infectious disease doctor in Regina, said Canadians should not be overly excited about differences in vaccine acceptance.
“It is clear that the world will have to find a way to solve the problem,” he said. “People just need a little patience.”
The Canadian government said it is working with international counterparts to resolve vaccine discrepancies.
“In the coming weeks and months, health authorities around the world may revise these vaccine systems,” Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, said at a press conference last week. .
In June, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization of Canada (NACI) Changed vaccine guidelines Forgive the mixed COVID-19 vaccine, based on emerging research that found that the mixed AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines are both safe and effective.
Wong believes that the United States will soon change its position on mixed vaccines.
“For example, looking at the United States and Canada, and the importance of borders, I doubt it will be clarified sooner or later,” he said.
Wong also predicts that the COVISHIELD problem will be resolved soon because it is no different from the AstraZeneca vaccine produced in Europe.
“It’s actually the exact same thing,” he said. “It happens to be made in India.”
How about getting the third dose?
this week, Quebec Government Said that it will provide a third dose of vaccine to people who plan to travel necessary to countries that do not recognize their vaccination status.
Marjorie Larouche, a spokesperson for the Quebec Ministry of Health, said in an email: “Persons affected by these special circumstances will be informed of the relevance of receiving additional doses based on their conditions.”
CBC News asked the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) to take the third dose. The agency replied that NACI, which advises PHAC, does not recommend vaccination requirements for travel.
PHAC spokesperson Anne Génier said in an email: “Remind Canadians to avoid unnecessary travel outside of Canada.” “This is not the time to travel.”