Canadians immune to COVID-19 with the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine can travel to the United States when new travel regulations come into effect next month, but it is not yet clear whether those with mixed doses will make the move. chopped off.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Monday that travelers who have received vaccines approved or recognized for emergency use by the World Health Organization and the United States Food and Drug Administration will meet travel criteria. in the USA. people who have received a mixed dose regimen of approved vaccines.
“The CDC will issue additional guidance and information as travel requirements are finalized,” said an emailed statement from spokesperson Jasmine Reed. Reed said the CDC started advising airlines of its decision last week.
Last month, White House officials said international travelers would be allowed to visit from November as long as they were fully vaccinated. They did not say which vaccines would meet those criteria.
The FDA has approved three COVID-19 vaccines, and the AstraZeneca formula is not one of them. It is however approved by the WHO.
The FDA also does not allow mixing doses of Pfizer and Moderna.
More than 3.9 million Canadians have two different doses of COVID-19 vaccines approved by Health Canada, not to mention Quebec, which does not categorize the data by vaccine product.
Of those, about 1.6 million received a dose of the AstraZeneca formula followed by an mRNA vaccine, according to data from the Public Health Agency of Canada. It is not yet clear whether those who received a mixed dose regimen will meet the criteria.
COVID-19 vaccines approved under the WHO Emergency Use List have only been evaluated as single-product regimens, meaning people get the same vaccine for both injections.
But the agency’s Strategic Advisory Group of Immunization Experts recommends that mRNA vaccines – Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna – can be used as a second dose after a first dose with the AstraZeneca vaccine if a second dose of AstraZeneca is not is not available.
The CDC had not responded to inquiries from The Canadian Press at the time of publication.
The National Airlines Council of Canada nevertheless applauds the CDC’s decision.
“As countries move forward and recognize WHO-approved vaccines, this underscores the critical need for the Canadian government to do the same and accept the global standard set by the WHO,” said Mike McNaney, president and CEO of the group, in an email statement.
Ottawa recognizes Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA vaccines, as well as AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, but not WHO-approved Sinopharm or Sinovac vaccines. The CDC’s ruling means U.S. officials will recognize the six.
A spokesperson for Global Affairs Canada said Ottawa “respects the right of the United States to determine its border restrictions.”
“The Government of Canada is working with partners, including the United States, to advocate for the recognition of Canada’s successful and scientific overseas vaccination strategy, which includes mixed vaccination schedules, extended dose and a safe and effective vaccine portfolio. Geneviève Tremblay said Saturday in an emailed statement.
The new United States travel rules replace Trump-era travel bans that limited visits to the United States to those who had recently traveled to the United Kingdom, the European Union, China, India, Iran, Ireland, Brazil and South Africa.
Passengers will be required to present proof of vaccination prior to boarding, as well as a negative COVID-19 test performed no more than three days prior to departure.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published on October 11, 2021.
– With files from Laura Osman and James McCarten