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Mixed COVID-19 Vaccines Should Be Recognized Abroad

Ontario has asked the federal government to ensure Canadians who received mixed COVID-19 vaccines will be recognized for international travel as border measures lift.

Ontario and other provinces have offered residents the option of taking one shot each of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines oran mRNA shot after a first of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines. Provinces offered the mixed option this year as country grappled with a shifting incoming vaccine supply schedule and concerns over a rare but serious blood clot linked to the AstraZeneca shot.

The ministers wrote that it’s critical for “the integrity and confidence” in Canada’s and Ontario’s vaccination programs that people who “have done the right thing” by taking doses of two different vaccines are considered immunized abroad.

“As the federal government opens international travel, we believe these Ontarians should also be considered `fully immunized’ by other countries both at international borders and in their activities within those jurisdictions,” they said.

Concerns have been raised in recent weeks about potential barriers facing people who mixed their COVID-19 shots.

Ottawa announced last week that fully vaccinated U.S. citizens and permanent residents will be allowed into Canada without a 14-day quarantine as of Aug. 9. Eligible travellers in other parts of the world will be permitted to enter without quarantine on Sept. 7.

The rules apply to people who have received a full course of a COVID-19 vaccine approved for use in Canada.

Jones and Elliott wrote to Ottawa on “the importance of ensuring effective measures at the border for those who are not yet fully immunized,” and asked for “enforced and effective” quarantine rules for non-vaccinated travellers coming into the country.

They also asked for a consistent approach to international travel across land, air and water borders and at all points of entry.

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