US will accept mixed doses of Covid-19 vaccines from international travellers

Travelers wearing protective face masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus at the airport in Denver, Colorado on Nov 24, 2020. PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said late on Friday (Oct 15) that it will accept mixed-dose coronavirus vaccines from international travellers, a boost to travellers from Canada and other places.

The CDC said last week that it would accept any vaccine authorised for use by US regulators or the World Health Organisation (WHO).

"While CDC has not recommended mixing types of vaccine in a primary series, we recognise that this is increasingly common in other countries so should be accepted for the interpretation of vaccine records," a CDC spokesman said.

The White House said on Friday the new vaccine requirements for foreign nationals travelling to the United States will begin on Nov 8 for visitors crossing at land borders as well as international air travellers.

Representative Brian Higgins, a New York Democrat representing a district along the Canadian border, had on Friday asked the CDC if it would accept the mixed vaccine doses noting "nearly four million Canadians, equivalent to 10 per cent of their fully vaccinated population, have received mixed doses of the available mRNA Covid-19 vaccines - this includes the AstraZeneca vaccine".

The CDC said the vaccines approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use, as well as those authorised by WHO, will be accepted for entry into the United States, including the AstraZeneca vaccine.

The CDC said "individuals who have any combination of two doses of an FDA approved/authorised or WHO emergency use listed Covid-19 two-dose series are considered fully vaccinated".

The CDC plans to answer other questions and release a contact tracing order for international air visitors by Oct 25.

Join ST's Telegram channel here and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.