Reprieve for international travelers as US OK’s mixed COVID-19 vaccine doses

USA – The United States’ national public-health agency has announced that travelers who have received doses of different COVID-19 vaccines will now be considered fully vaccinated, paving the way for foreigners to enter the United States under new rules that go into effect in November.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has also announced that it had updated its guidance to state that anyone who receives a mixed dose of COVID-19 vaccines will be considered inoculated.

The inoculation status will be valid as long as the vaccines are approved by the US Food and Drug Administration or are on the World Health Organization’s emergency-use list. These lists include all of the vaccines that are used in Canada.

There is a sigh of relief as the new rule will allow fully vaccinated foreign air travelers from the 26 Schengen countries of Europe, including France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, and Greece, as well as the United Kingdom, Ireland, China, India, South Africa, Iran, and Brazil.

Non-U.S. citizens who have been in those countries within the last 14 days are barred under the unprecedented U.S. restrictions.

Travelers are considered fully vaccinated if they have received both doses of a two-dose vaccine or one dose of a single-dose regimen at least two weeks prior to their departure date.

Individuals who have received any combination of two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine approved by US regulators or the World Health Organization will be considered fully vaccinated, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Moderna, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and its Indian counterpart, Covishield, are among the WHO-approved vaccines. As a result, visitors with any combination of these vaccines will be permitted to enter the United States.

The CDC updated its public health recommendations for fully vaccinated individuals: “for the purposes of interpretation of vaccination records” individuals were considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the last dose of an FDA or WHO approved or authorized vaccine, “or any combination of two doses of an FDA approved/authorized or WHO emergency use listed COVID-19 two-dose series.”

While the recommended interval between the first and second doses vary, the CDC added that it would recognize any regimen where the second dose was “received no earlier than 17 days (21 days with a four-day grace period) after the first dose.”

Non-US air travelers will be required to show proof of vaccination and a recent negative COVID-19 test before boarding a flight. Foreign visitors crossing the border by land will not be required to show proof of a recent negative test.

The new rules eliminate the need for foreign visitors or Americans entering the country to be quarantined.

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