Canadians with mixed vaccines and plans to travel to the United States can breathe a sigh of relief tonight.
After weeks of speculation, the United States confirmed Friday night that it will accept mixed vaccines when new rules come into effect on November 8 requiring foreign travelers entering the United States to be fully vaccinated.
People inoculated with any two-dose combination of a COVID-19 vaccine authorized by U.S. regulators or the World Health Organization will be considered fully vaccinated, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said. from the United States to CBC News.
WHO-approved vaccines include Moderna, Pfizer, AstraZeneca and its Indian-made counterpart, Covishield. Thus, travelers with any combination of these vaccines will be allowed to enter the United States.
The CDC does not recognize the COVID-19 vaccine mix, but said it has updated its guidelines to reflect the growing global acceptance of the practice.
“Although the CDC has not recommended mixing vaccine types in a primary series, we recognize that this is increasingly common in other countries and therefore should be accepted for interpretation of vaccine records.” CDC spokeswoman Kristen Nordlund said in an email.
Millions of Canadians have mixed doses of COVID-19 vaccines. When the United States recently announced it would impose a vaccination requirement on travelers entering by land and air, many Canadians with mixed doses feared that they would soon be barred from entering the country.
âWe felt a bit caught off guard,â said snowbird Ingrid Whyte of Toronto. Following Canadian government guidelines, she and her husband, John, each received one dose of Covishield and a second dose of Pfizer.
âWe did everything we were supposed to do to get the vaccines,â Whyte said.
The couple had booked a flight to Florida for Nov. 17, but canceled it due to concerns about their mixed vaccines. They are now relieved to learn that their vaccine combination will not be a problem when they enter the United States.
âWe are thrilled,â Whyte said. “I wish it had been a bit earlier. It would have allowed people to plan a little more efficiently. But in the long term, that’s great news.”
It’s also good news for Petar Sesar of London, Ont, who has a mix of Moderna and Pfizer.
Sesar’s fiancÃ©e, Mara Bakula, lives in Cleveland. Sesar this week welcomed the news of the US land border reopening on Nov. 8 to non-essential travelers because he would rather drive than fly to Cleveland.
However, he was concerned that he would have no option to travel to the United States on November 8 if the country rejected its vaccine mix.
âIt was a very scary moment,â he said. “It was like a sort of house arrest, as now I [may] have no choice. “
Earlier this year, the CDC said online that a mixture of two mNRA vaccines, Moderna and Pfizer, would be accepted under “exceptional circumstances.” But Sesar wasn’t quiet until he learned that the CDC had approved his exact combination.
âIt’s amazing,â he said. “It is such a relief. I share the relief with millions of [Canadians]. “
Where is the United States now on mixed vaccines?
Canada has updated its vaccination guidelines in June Recommend mixing doses of COVID-19 vaccine based on emerging research that has found it to be both safe and effective.
Meanwhile, the CDC still maintains that “data on the safety and efficacy of a series of combination products is limited.”
But that could change.
The United States recently conducted a study exploring the effectiveness of using a different COVID-19 vaccine as a booster injection.
This week, U.S. officials have come together to review data that so far suggests the vaccine blend is safe and effective.