Six vaccines approved for traveling to the US

Covaxin
Image credit: Bharat Biotech

Covaxin administered in India in large numbers is yet to be approved for travel to the US

With the United States all set to open its borders on Nov. 8 to travelers from 33 countries including India, there is curiosity about the list of vaccines acceptable in the US.

On April 30, 2020, at a time when India was battered by the devastating second wave of Covid-19, the Biden administration put a Covid related travel ban for travelers from India entering into the US to contain the spread of Delta variant of the virus in the country.

More than six months after that presidential proclamation, the White House has finally made the much awaited announcement about allowing all vaccinated travelers from India to enter into the US.

Read: With US set to allow vaccinated travelers, Indians concerned over Covaxin validity (September 27, 2021)

As expected, the US borders will only be open to individuals who are fully vaccinated. This decision brings forth another important question – which Covid vaccines will be acceptable in the US?

While speculations have been rife, we finally have some concrete answers as the US Department of State has clarified which vaccines will be accepted by the US to meet the requirement of full vaccination against Covid-19 from Nov 8.

“The CDC’s (Centre for Disease Control) website explains that for the purpose of entering into the United States the accepted vaccines will include FDA approved or authorized and WHO Emergency Use Listing vaccines,” the State Department release notes.

“The CDC and the interagency are working to develop the orders and guidance document to implement this new travel policy,” it added.

The statement makes it amply clear that at the moment the US will accept COVID vaccinations that are approved by the US Food and Drug Administration or are approved by WHO for emergency situation.

At the moment there are six vaccines that meet all the criteria set by the State Department. These six vaccines are – Pfizer- BioNTech, Moderna, Jannsen, AstraZeneca Covishield, Sinopharm BIBP, Sinovac.

For Indian travelers, this information makes it quite clear that Covaxin, which is administered in India in large numbers is yet to be allowed for travel into the US.

Read: Covaxin: The best vaccine you can’t get (July 5, 2021)

The fully vaccinated status is considered only when 15 days have passed since the second dose was administered to the individual. Airlines will be tasked with collecting and reviewing documentation from passengers ahead of their respective flights.

Currently most non-US citizens who within the last 14 days had been to India, Britain, 26 Schengen countries in Europe, Ireland, China, South Africa, Iran and Brazil are not allowed to enter the US.

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