Which vaccines approved by Canada are accepted abroad – .

Which vaccines approved by Canada are accepted abroad – .

EDMONTON – As Canadians begin to embrace a return to normalcy, many are considering the exciting prospect of traveling again. But those who choose to go abroad may quickly realize that choosing a destination is not as straightforward as it was before the COVID-19 pandemic.

While a negative pre-departure PCR test is still required by most destinations, many countries also require foreign visitors to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination upon entry.

Others may require travelers who are not fully vaccinated to be quarantined before being allowed free travel within the country.

The problem is that some countries do not currently recognize travelers with mixed doses of vaccines as being fully immunized – which could create serious problems for millions of Canadians whose doses do not match.

why is this the case?

Well, despite the recommendation of Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI), not all countries recommend mixing and pairing COVID-19 vaccine doses.

Likewise, vaccines approved for use in this country by Health Canada – such as the AstraZeneca vaccine – have not been approved in other countries, such as the United States, further complicating matters.


Although the US land border remains closed to Canadians, you can travel to the United States pending proof of a negative COVID-19 molecular or antigen test taken no more than three days before your flight.

There are currently no vaccination requirements in place for Canadian visitors to the United States, but those with mixed doses could potentially find themselves in a predicament thanks to the country’s stance on mixing and matching.

“Only people who have received all of the recommended doses of an FDA-approved or WHO-listed COVID-19 vaccine are considered fully vaccinated for purposes of public health guidelines,” a spokesperson for the Centers said. for Disease Control (CDC) from the United States at CTVNews.ca in an email.

“COVID-19 vaccines are not interchangeable; The safety and effectiveness of receiving two different COVID-19 vaccines have not been studied. “

Some cruise lines that dock in the United States – such as Norwegian Cruise Line – have said they will not recognize international passengers who have mixed and matched vaccinations.

Princess Cruise Lines customers who received a vector vaccine, including AstraZeneca, as their first dose, followed by an mRNA vaccine “will not be considered fully vaccinated.” However, the company will allow passengers who have received doses of mixed mRNA vaccines, such as Pfizer and Moderna.

Holland America Line and Carnival Cruise Line also currently have similar policies in place.

Keep in mind that proof of vaccination may be required for certain activities in the United States, including concert halls and sporting events. New York’s 41 Broadway theaters will require proof of vaccination for all performances through October.


Mixed vaccinations will not be a problem for Canadian travelers to popular destinations like Jamaica – who consider anyone with two doses of a vaccine recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) to be fully vaccinated – or Cuba and the Dominican Republic, which do not differentiate between vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers.

But the issue has already confused those heading to Barbados, which reversed its policy of recognizing travelers with mixed doses on July 15.

Trinidad and Tobago’s policy is also restrictive for those who have mixed vaccines.

“For COVID-19 2-dose series vaccines, passengers must have received 2 doses of the same vaccine OR the first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine followed by the second dose of Pfizer vaccine,” the country’s travel requirements state.

“Passengers with any other combination of vaccines would NOT be considered fully vaccinated, at this time. “


Canadians who have been vaccinated with one or more doses of AstraZeneca vaccine may experience another problem when traveling to Europe.

While the European Union has approved Vaxzevria, the European-made version of AstraZeneca, it has not authorized COVISHIELD, the Indian version of the same vaccine that some 80,000 Canadians have received at least one dose of.

For this reason, countries like Italy, Portugal, Poland and Germany do not recognize COVISHIELD, preventing Canadians who have received the vaccine from taking advantage of privileges offered to fully vaccinated travelers, such as the quarantine exemption.

Fortunately, a growing number of European countries have recently accepted the COVIDSHIELD vaccine, including Austria, Spain and France.

The UK also recognizes COVISHIELD. However, fully vaccinated Canadians traveling to the region should always self-quarantine, regardless of what type of vaccine they have, unlike visitors from the United States.

No matter where you plan to travel, be sure to read the fine print of the travel requirements for the country you plan to visit, as each country differs in terms of vaccinations and testing. Most countries list this information on a government website under coronavirus information and entry requirements.

Recognized and unrecognized vaccines are also likely to change regularly as countries approve new vaccines and more data is collected on the effectiveness of mixing and matching of vaccines.


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