TORONTO — The U.S.-Canadian land border will be re-opening in November to fully-vaccinated Canadians, but travel is in question for the millions who received mixed vaccine doses of Pfizer, Moderna and Astra Zeneca.
The White House announced the slated re-opening of land and ferry crossings along the border on Tuesday, after an unprecedented closure that started in March 2020.
The Department of Homeland Security said in a statement that travellers entering the U.S. by land will be required to have paperwork that provides proof of vaccination. Any travellers who aren’t fully-vaccinated will not be allowed to enter. But the department gave no details on which vaccines will be accepted.
CTV News asked White House officials whether mixed doses of Pfizer, Moderna and Astra Zeneca will be accepted under the new rules. White House officials said the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is working on guidelines, but gave no definitive answer or timeline on when they might be ready.
Astra Zeneca’s vaccine has not been authorized for use in the U.S. And while both Pfizer and Moderna are authorized for use in America, the CDC says that they are not to be used interchangeably.
The CDC recently said travellers immunized with WHO-approved vaccines will be allowed to fly into the U.S., meaning Canadians who received two shots of the Astra Zeneca vaccine should be allowed to enter by air. But it did not say anything about those with mixed doses.
According to government data, as of Oct 2, nearly four million Canadians received mixed doses of vaccines.
Dr. Dale Kalina, the medical director of infection prevention and control at the Joseph Brant Hospital, told CTV News Channel Canada should also look at accepting all WHO-approved vaccines.
“Keep in mind, that we have only recognized vaccines that we currently use here as well. And there are others that also offer a very good degree of protection,” he said.
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