Not all vaccines are valid to enter the United States

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – New requirements to enter the United States are taking effect and this could become a problem for many foreign travelers.

As of November 8, people entering the country by land or air must show proof of vaccination against COVID. However, many travelers are unaware that there are some vaccines that are not approved for entry into the United States.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) there are only six vaccines approved by the World Health Organization (WHO), which is the standard followed by the U.S. government.

The accepted COVID vaccines are:

  • Pfizer
  • Modern
  • Janssen (Johnson & Johnson)
  • AstraZeneca
  • Sinovac
  • Sinopharm

Under the new rule, you are considered fully vaccinated if you received one or two doses of any vaccine on the accepted list (above) and it has been 14-days since your last injection. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the combination of the Pfizer, Moderna, and J&J vaccines on October 20 as a booster to the initial immunization.

This leaves out millions of people around the world who received the Russian vaccine Sputnik V, the Chinese CanSico, or the Cuban vaccines AbdalaSoberana 02, and Soberana Plus. In many countries, people cannot choose the vaccine they want to receive, but governments organize vaccination days depending on the doses they have available.

In Mexico, both the Russian and Chinese vaccines are among the most popular. At dawn on October 26, the twenty-second shipment of Sputnik V arrived Mexico with almost 6.5 mil. doses, adding to the 19.1 mil. doses already delivered by the National Center for Research on Epidemiology and Microbiology Gameleya, according to the Ministry of Health of Mexico.

Many Mexican citizens chose to travel to the United States before November 8 to get vaccinated against COVID again, but did so with vaccines approved by the WHO.

However, the vast majority cannot afford this option so they would be waiting for the WHO to approve the vaccine they have already received..

If you do not have the complete vaccination schedule against COVID-19, you will not be able to board the flight to the United States, except for some of the criteria mentioned below, coming from the CDC page:

  • People who are part of diplomatic committees or officials of foreign governments
  • People under 18
  • People with documented medical contraindications to receiving the COVID-19 vaccine
  • People Participating in Trials for Certain COVID-19 Vaccines
  • People with an emergency or humanitarian exception
  • Persons with valid visas [except B-1 (business) or B-2 (tourism)] who are citizens of a foreign country with limited availability of vaccines against COVID-19
  • Members of the United States Armed Forces and their spouses or children (under 18 years of age)
  • Maritime crewmembers traveling on a C-1 or D nonimmigrant visa
  • People whose income is considered to be of national interest, as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Transportation or the Secretary of National Security (or whoever they designate)

To learn more about the immunization exception categories, visit the online page here.

Below you can see the list of countries with a low level of available COVID vaccines, considered as exceptions:

CDC

KLAS journalists Greg Haas and Natalia Lancellotti have attempted to contact the Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD) for comment, but have yet to receive a response.

According to the CDC page, those who cannot prove that they are fully vaccinated with the vaccines approved by the WHO, will not be able to board a plane bound for the United States.

Apart from being vaccinated, a negative screening test performed within three days prior to travel must be shown, while those not vaccinated must present a test one day in advance.

Those under the age of 18 will not be required to be fully vaccinated as in many places they do not meet the eligibility criteria, but a diagnostic test for COVID-19 will be required, with the exception of children under 2 years of age.

Border Report reported that people who want to enter through the southern border must have their proof of vaccination (CDC list) ready and attest to the reason for their trip. If a Border Patrol officer asks you for additional documentation, you will need to check the vaccination status, either in print or through the digital portal, available on your CBP One ™ phone   .

For more information on the requirements, you can visit the 8 News Now coronavirus page here.

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