As international travel returns, confusion reigns over coronavirus vaccines

In the early stages of vaccination launch in the spring, some countries offered mixed doses of vaccines due to supply shortages. In Canada, at least 3.9 million people received two different injections and now face travel restrictions because many countries, including the US, only consider people with two identical doses fully vaccinated.

“For Canadians, I think a booster vaccine to match one of the first doses of vaccines will be the likely prison release card,” said Ms. Mills, who is Canadian Dutch.

What you need to know about Covid-19 booster injections

Who is eligible for a booster vaccine?

The FDA has authorized booster injections for millions of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccine recipients. Recipients of Pfizer and Moderna who are eligible for reinforcement include people 65 years of age or older and younger adults at high risk for severe Covid-19 due to medical conditions or where they work. Eligible Pfizer and Moderna recipients may receive reinforcement at least six months after the second dose. All Johnson & Johnson recipients will be eligible for a second take at least two months after the first.

Can I exchange Covid vaccines for a booster?

Yes. The FDA has updated its authorizations to allow medical providers to empower people with a different vaccine than they initially received, a strategy known as “mixing and combining.” Whether you have received Moderna, Johnson & Johnson or Pfizer-BioNTech, you can receive a booster from any other vaccine. Regulators have not recommended any vaccine over another as a booster. They have also kept quiet about whether it is preferable to continue with the same vaccine when possible.

What underlying medical conditions qualify for a booster vaccine?

The CDC has said conditions that qualify a person for a booster vaccine include: hypertension and heart disease; diabetes or obesity; cancer or blood disorders; weakened immune system; chronic lung, kidney, or liver disease; dementia and certain disabilities. Pregnant women and current and former smokers are also eligible.

What occupations are eligible for reinforcements?

The FDA authorized reinforcements for workers whose work put them at high risk of exposure to potentially infectious people. The CDC says this group includes: emergency medical workers; education workers; food and agriculture workers; manufacturing industry workers; correction workers; U.S. postal service workers; public transport workers; grocery store workers.

Can I get a flu shot at the same time as a vaccine or a booster shot against Covid?

Yes. The CDC says the Covid vaccine can be given without regard to the timing of other vaccines, and many pharmacy sites allow people to schedule a flu shot at the same time as a booster dose.

Even after being able to enter a country, foreign visitors may find it difficult to access establishments or services that require “passports” or vaccine certificates, such as restaurants and museums, due to compatibility issues between software types. verification. On vacation in August, Jason Trenton, a 49-year-old music technician who was vaccinated in New York in April, was turned down from a Paris restaurant because the hostess was unable to scan his Excelsior Pass. a mobile app issued by New. York State.

In June, France launched its own application, called the Health Pass, which stores vaccine certificates and PCR test results and is mandatory for access to bars, restaurants, shopping malls, tourist sites and public transport. At the time of Mr. Trenton, the system was not available to American citizens.

“Most places accept the CDC paper vaccine card, but I didn’t want to take it with me because it’s very easy to lose,” Mr. Trenton. “It’s all random and you just have to wait for someone to accept your pass without scanning it. It worked in most places, but it’s stressful because you make reservations and plan the day, but you don’t know if it will turn out well. “.

In some countries, such as Switzerland, non-EU travelers have to apply for the national vaccine certificates needed for inland meals and cultural activities, but getting one can take up to seven days.

“Everything is very unnecessary and confusing,” said John Morris, 59, an English teacher living in Istanbul. He has decided not to return home until Britain recognizes the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine it received in Turkey. “These rules only have prejudices against developing countries. I received this very good vaccine under a very efficient health system in Turkey and I will travel wherever I accept it.”

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