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Congressman seeks confirmation that travelers vaccinated with AstraZeneca & mixed doses will be permitted to cross border
With reopening of the U.S. border to Canadians just weeks away, questions remain about which vaccines the U.S. will accept as proof of vaccination. In an effort to resolve confusion, Congressman Brian Higgins’s team said Friday. He is seeking answers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
In a letter to the CDC director, Higgins wrote, “Nearly four million Canadians, equivalent to ten percent of their fully vaccinated population, have received mixed doses of the available mRNA COVID-19 vaccines – this includes the AstraZeneca vaccine. At present, the AstraZeneca vaccine does not appear on the CDC’s list of approved and authorized vaccines for use in the United States and the CDC website recommends against mixing doses of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines.”
Higgins has received multiple inquiries on this issue from citizens, the media and Canadian government leaders.
Higgins, who serves as co-chair of the Canada-U.S. interparliamentary group and the House of Representatives’ northern border caucus, said clear guidance is urgently needed.
“It is my understanding that the CDC will develop guidelines on which vaccines will be accepted,” he said. “The prospect of millions of Canadian travelers being indefinitely denied access to the United States because they received mixed doses of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine is deeply concerning. After more than nineteen months of separation, border communities are desperate to reunite with their loved ones in Canada and the United States. Our livelihoods and way of life depend on the free flow of goods, services, and people across the border – often multiple times per day.”
After first closing the border in March of 2020 due to the pandemic, Canada began welcoming back vaccinated Americans on Aug. 9, 2021. On Oct. 12, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced plans to begin to allow nonessential travelers who are vaccinated to cross into the U.S. through land ports of entry beginning in November.