While it’s welcome news that the US will reopen its shared land border with Canada to non-essential travel in early November, some Canadians with mixed vaccine doses are yet to celebrate.
That’s because as the US reopens the land border, it will begin requiring that foreign land and air travelers entering the country be fully vaccinated.
The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) does not currently recognize mixed COVID-19 vaccines – such as one dose of AstraZeneca, and one dose from Pfizer or Moderna – and has not yet said whether travelers with two different doses will be blocked. From admission when the need for the vaccine begins.
“CDC will issue additional guidance and information as travel requirements are finalized later this month,” spokeswoman Jed Fulls said in an email on Wednesday.
millions of canadians They have mixed vaccines, including Brian Butler of Bowmanville, Ont., who received a dose of Covishield, a brand of AstraZeneca, and a dose of Moderna. He has two daughters and two granddaughters in the US, and is dismayed that the country has yet to confirm whether his vaccine mix will be accepted.
“Just make a decision,” he said. “Someone with a mixed vaccination I don’t think is at risk of spreading COVID across the states.”
On Wednesday, Dr. Ali Khan, a former assistant US surgeon general, told businesshala News that he believes the US will update its guidelines to accept mixed doses, as studies have shown that mixture vaccines are effective.
“The scientific community absolutely understands this,” he said. “Essentially what we’re waiting for right now is a [U.S.] policy that aligns with that practice.”
What does the US say about mixed vaccines?
The United States’ stand on compound vaccines first raised concerns last monthcountry when announced That foreign air travelers entering the country will soon have to show proof that they have been fully vaccinated.
On Tuesday, it was revealed that the US will eventually reopen its part of the land border to tourists, but they should also be fully vaccinated. according to US officialsCanadians crossing over land will be questioned about their vaccination status and will be required to show documentation if they are sent for secondary screening.
“Individuals who have not been fully vaccinated for COVID-19 will not be allowed to travel from Canada for non-essential purposes,” the Department of Homeland Security said. in a statement.
So now the burning question is what vaccines will be accepted for travel to the US
Last week, the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) confirmed that the country would accept visitors with COVID-19 vaccines authorized by US regulators or the World Health Organization. WHO-approved vaccines include astraZeneca and its Indian-made counterpart, Cheyshield
A similar rule is expected at land crossings as well. But the US is still waiting for CDC’s guidance regarding mixed-dose travelers.
- US will reopen land borders to fully vaccinated Canadians next month
While the CDC does not currently recognize compound vaccines, there are some exceptions to the rule.
The CDC states on its website that Mixed dose of two mRNA vaccinesPfizer and Moderna are acceptable in “exceptional situations”, such as when the vaccine used for the first dose was no longer available.
To understand how current CDC guidelines are playing out, businesshala News surveyed the vaccination policies of eight major cruise lines departing from the US. Each cruise line said it would accept a mix of Pfizer and Moderna, but no other. Will not combine.
“For example, Canadians or other international guests who have received a combination of AstraZeneca and Pfizer are considered illiterate by the CDC,” the states said. carnival cruises on its website.
Cruise line policies have already forced some Canadians to cancel their cruises with mixed vaccines.
Michael Harrison, a cruise ship entertainer, of Windsor, NS, said that he and his fiancée, who works as his assistant, recently had to turn down offers to work on two different cruise ships, because of them Each has a mix of AstraZeneca and Moderna.
“It’s just disappointing that it worked out like this,” Harrison, who performs as a ventriloquist on cruises. “If we had known, we certainly wouldn’t have put ourselves in this position.”
What is the forecast?
Canada updated its vaccination guidelines in june To recommend a combination of doses of a COVID-19 vaccine based on emerging research that found it to be both safe and effective.
Meanwhile, the CDC says that “data on the safety and efficacy of the mixed product range is limited.”
But it may change.
America recently held one discovery Exploring the effectiveness of using a different COVID-19 vaccine as a booster shot.
- As US prepares to reopen border, some urge Canada to relax testing requirement
Khan said he believes the results will be a recommendation recognizing mixed doses.
“I personally can’t think of any reason why they wouldn’t do it.”
But it still leaves Canadians with a mixed dose – and travel plans – until a decision is made.
Eager to get back to work as soon as possible, Harrison said she and her fiancé plan to sign up for a third dose in Nova Scotia to take two doses of Moderna. Beginning Friday October 15In Nova Scotia, people may get a third shot if they need to travel for work.
“It’s wonderful,” Harrison said. “I hope it’s so quiet here in little Windsor [N.S.], that by October 15th, we will be able to be online that morning and book a shot that day.”