Vaccine-type travel rules could be discriminatory: OPS – .

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Vaccine-type travel rules could be discriminatory: OPS – .


MEXICO – Countries should allow entry of vaccinated travelers regardless of the vaccine they have received to prevent discrimination and facilitate business, a senior official with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said on Wednesday.

With vaccination rates on the rise, countries face new questions about how to contain the spread of COVID-19 while easing travel restrictions in the event of a pandemic.

The United States announced last week that it would reopen the land border with Mexico – the busiest in the world – but would only allow people who have been vaccinated with vaccines authorized by the World Health Organization ( WHO), leaving aside two injections heavily used in Mexico – Russian Sputnik V and one from Chinese Cansino Biologics.

“It is very important that countries can enter into bilateral and multilateral agreements, so that all vaccines used can be accepted,” PAHO Deputy Director Jarbas Barbosa said at a press conference.

“It can make tourism easier, it can make business easier, it’s in the interest of society,” Barbosa said.

Refusing people on the basis of their vaccine could have an unfair impact on some travelers, he said, adding: “It could definitely create some kind of discrimination.”

Millions of Mexicans have been vaccinated with Sputnik V and Cansino injections. Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has said he will urge the WHO to speed up approvals.

Forty-one percent of people in Latin America and the Caribbean have now been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, but not uniformly across the region, PAHO Director Carissa Etienne said.

The COVAX vaccine sharing program is expected to deliver 4.6 million more vaccines to the region by the end of the week.

Etienne urged people to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and the flu, noting that some people may have weaker defenses against the flu by staying at home and socially distancing themselves.

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