Loading articles...

Government expects foreign states' wariness of mix-and-max vaccination to 'evolve'

A health worker prepares a Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination center, in Lahore, Pakistan, Tuesday, July 6, 2021. Normalcy returned at COVID-19 vaccination centers across Pakistan, days after Washington delivered 2.5 million doses of the Moderna vaccine to Islamabad. That enabled Pakistan's government to overcome shortages of specific vaccines which were needed to inoculate expatriate workers wishing to travel abroad. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)

OTTAWA — Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc is sounding a note of hope that Canadians who mixed and matched vaccines will not have a problem crossing borders in the months ahead.

While Canadian health authorities say recipients of a Moderna dose should not hesitate to have Pfizer-BioNTech as their second jab — or vice versa — the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has so far been reluctant to sanction the practice, saying it should only be done in “exceptional situations.”

The different view raises questions about how easily Canadians who mixed and matched will be able to cross into the United States once it opens its land borders to its northern neighbour.

Meanwhile many European countries do not recognize the AstraZeneca vaccine made at the Serum Institute of India, known by the brand name Covishield, meaning Canadians who received it could find themselves barred from entry.

LeBlanc says he believes data sharing and conversations between health authorities around the world will lead to an “evolution” and “adjustment” of the more conservative approach of some countries’ regulatory bodies.

As of Aug. 9, fully vaccinated U.S. citizens and permanent residents will be allowed to enter Canada without quarantining so long as they provide proof of vaccination and the results of a negative COVID-19 test no more than three days old, prior to departure.

The same rules will be expanded to fully vaccinated travellers from around the world as of Sept. 7.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 20, 2021.

The Canadian Press