The United States has confirmed that it will accept vaccination schedules received from abroad by travelers seeking to enter the United States as long as they are approved by the national health authority or are on the World Health Organization’s Emergency Use List.
This ruling complements what was announced 20 days ago by the White House, which announced that in November travel restrictions would be removed for passengers from 33 countries that have a complete vaccination schedule but without specifying at that time which non-FDA-approved vaccines would be included.
A spokeswoman for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) told Reuters that six vaccines licensed/approved by the FDA or included on the WHO emergency use list «will qualify for travel to the United States».
The same official said that «earlier this week, to help them prepare their existing systems, we briefed the airlines» on the vaccines that would be accepted, adding that «CDC will issue additional guidelines and information as the requirements for travel are finalized.»
Some countries had pressed the government’s Biden administration to accept WHO-approved vaccines, as vaccines licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are not widely used in all countries.
Initially, the measure was reported in September to allow entry of travelers with a full schedule from the 26 Schengen countries, Great Britain, Ireland, China, India, South Africa, Iran, and Brazil. The acceptance of other vaccines will expand the number of countries whose vaccination regimens will be validated.
Although there are still some unclear points, such as the case of unvaccinated minors, subjects who took part in clinical trials, or combined doses, it is expected that once the new access conditions are published, the restrictions will be significantly relaxed.
So far, and taking into consideration the vaccines approved by the FDA -Pfizer, Moderna, and Janssen- and those on the WHO emergency use list (AstraZeneca/Covishield, Sinopharm, Sinovac), those who have a full schedule with these vaccines may benefit.
The WHO is expected that the Sputnik V vaccine, from the Gamaleya National Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology, will be approved soon, since the same WHO authorities reported a few days ago that the evaluation was «ready» and that «paperwork» was still to be completed.