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US: COVID-19 vaccine requirements for international travellers eased

April 28, 2023

(CNN) — The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is still requiring international visitors boarding flights to the United States to be vaccinated against Covid-19, but it’s easing vaccine requirements for those travelers.

International travelers boarding flights to the United States will now be considered fully vaccinated two weeks after getting a single dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna mRNA vaccine any time after August 16, 2022, when bivalent formulations first became available. The updated travel guidance was posted on the agency’s website on Thursday.

The change aligns with the CDC’s recently simplified vaccine guidance for Americans; those who are unvaccinated are now considered fully vaccinated after a single dose of a bivalent vaccine, which protects against more strains of the virus than the original shot.

Previously, foreign travelers entering the United States were considered fully vaccinated two weeks after the second dose of a vaccine that required two primary doses, or two weeks after a vaccine that only required a single shot, such as the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

A number of older, monovalent vaccine regimens also qualify a foreign visitor as fully vaccinated. Those include:

A single dose of the Janssen or Johnson & Johnson vaccine, or the Chinese-made vaccine Convidecia
2 doses of the Novavax vaccine
2 doses of Pfizer’s Comirnaty
2 doses of Moderna’s Spikevax
2 doses of AstraZeneca’s Vaxzevria
2 doses of Covaxin, Covidshield, BIBP or Sinopharm, CoronaVac, Nuvaxvoid, or Covovax
2 doses of the experimental vaccine Medicago
The travel requirements don’t apply to US citizens, lawful permanent residents, or immigrants.

Earlier this month, the CDC signed off on a plan to streamline Covid-19 vaccination. As part of the update, the older monovalent mRNA Covid-19 vaccines are no longer recommended in the United States, and updated vaccines are recommended for everyone age 6 months and older.

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