Reuters have reported that the United States of America will accept international visitors that have been vaccinated against COVID-19 with a WHO-approved vaccine. The WHO currently has Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Covishield, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Sinovac, and Sinopharm under its Emergency Use List.
It is reported a CDC spokeswoman told Reuters that six vaccines that are FDA authorised or approved, or listed for emergency use by the WHO will meet the criteria for travel to the US. As announced on 20th September, the US is lifting international travel restrictions in November for travellers from 33 countries which include China, India, Brazil and most of Europe.
The CDC said they have informed airlines of what vaccines are accepted to help them prepare their systems. Additional guidance and information will be released by the CDC as travel requirements are finalised. The US is expected to accept fully vaccinated individuals from 26 Schengen countries in Europe, as well as the UK, Ireland, China, India, South Africa, Iran and Brazil.
In August, Singapore has also announced that it will recognise a person’s vaccination if they have received a WHO-approved vaccine. Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said what is important now is the difference between those who are vaccinated and not vaccinated and less so between different vaccines. He also noted that WHO is a “widely accepted” reference organisation as it sets a 50% vaccine effectiveness threshold for listing in the Emergency Use List.
Europe has also issued a statement in July clarifying that member states have lifted restrictions for those who have gotten non-EU approved vaccines as long as the vaccine has gone through WHO’s Emergency Use Listing process. Responding to allegations that some AstraZeneca vaccines are not recognised, the EU said “There is no obstacle or hurdle. Therefore, some recent reporting concerning the AstraZeneca vaccines’ origin is inaccurate.”
For Malaysians or incoming travellers who have been fully vaccinated overseas, it is now easier to apply for a local digital vaccine certificate on MySejahtera. Users can go to the helpdesk and select “N” for “I have received my vaccination overseas and would like to obtain my digital certificate in MySejahtera”. You will need to submit a copy of your vaccine card and once approved, your certificate should be reflected in the app.
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