Which Vaccines Are Approved for Entry to the US?

Which Vaccines Are Approved for Entry to the US

The US will allow entry to international visitors that have received vaccines against COVID-19 that have been approved by either the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced.

Back in September, the White House announced that air travel restrictions on fully vaccinated visitors from 33 countries – including China, India, Brazil, and most of Europe – would be lifted starting in November. At the time, specific details on which vaccines would be on the approved list for entry were not provided.

The new vaccine requirements apply to all international visitors looking to enter the US, not just those from the nations affected by the previous travel ban.

Speaking to Reuters, a CDC representative said: "Six vaccines that are FDA authorized/approved or listed for emergency use by WHO will meet the criteria for travel to the US." The CDC will continue to release further guidance and details to the airlines as the updated travel requirements are finalized. Additionally, the Center is putting the finishing touches on international contact tracing procedures as well as certain exceptions to this new rule.

Which Vaccines Are Approved for Entry to the US?

This is the current list of all FDA- and WHO-approved vaccines against COVID-19 that will grant international travelers entry into the United States starting in November:

  • Moderna
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Pfizer-BioNTech
  • Oxford-AstraZeneca/Covishield
  • Sinopharm
  • Sinovac

The official starting date of these new requirements has not yet been confirmed, to the dismay of both travelers and airlines alike.

Are There Other Entry Requirements for Foreign Visitors?

Foreign air travelers will need to show valid proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before boarding their flight bound for the United States. They must also submit a negative test result within three days of departure. There will be no quarantine mandate in place, though masking is required at all airports and on all flights in the US, per FAA regulations. The CDC has also anticipated more detailed contact tracing measures.

What About Children Unable to Receive the Vaccine?

Jen Psaki, White House press secretary, has previously said that unvaccinated children of both US citizens and foreign nationals will be subject to more strict testing requirements. Currently, all children over the age of 2 that are boarding international flights to the US must show proof of a negative COVID test taken within three days of departure.

Are There Any Other Exceptions Being Made?

The CDC is still working on the details of exceptions for certain travelers. For example, visitors from countries where vaccines aren't widely available, or those that participated in COVID-19 vaccine trials. Travelers that have recently contracted COVID-19 and are therefore not yet eligible for vaccination are still in limbo as well. More announcements should be made in the coming days.

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