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Questions raised about future of travel after AstraZeneca vaccine not accepted at U.S. concert

Victoria -

Canada’s vaccination rate for first doses ranks among the top of the world’s largest countries, and second doses are now accelerating as well.

“When you look at the pace of vaccination, we're up there with the fastest in the world, when it comes to administering vaccine,” said Dr. Isaac Bogoch, an infectious disease doctor based in Toronto.

But for those folks who got an AstraZeneca shot, there is new concern whether that will be enough to get them into events in the United States when the border reopens to travellers.

Rocker Bruce Springsteen is reopening his live production on Broadway later this month, and to attend you need to be fully vaccinated with vaccines approved by the FDA for use in the United States — including Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson — not Astrazeneca, which has yet to receive the green light for use in the U.S.

It might seem like a small thing, but as the world emerges from the pandemic and borders start reopening, the rock show could be the sign of things to come, according to Dr. Kelley Lee, a professor at Simon Fraser University and Canada Research Chair in Global Health Governance at SFU.

“Even if we relax and we can go in the States, you can’t assume that you're going to have the same access to things as say an American, so you really have to do your planning if you’re going to do a trip,” cautions Lee, noting there has been a patchwork of vaccination programs around the globe.

She said the same issue could apply here too for Canadians returning from abroad who are fully vaccinated but not with vaccines approved for use here by Health Canada.

“We’ve had quite an uncoordinated way of using travel measures, and now easing them, we're having the same problem,” said Lee Wednesday. “Even coming back to Canada, if they haven’t had vaccines that have been recognized in Canada, they're going to be not able to circumvent the hotel quarantine system.”

The good news, says Lee, is that the predicaments posed by the different vaccines will likely get sorted in time.

“I think everybody is on the same page, we just need to do it safely, and we want people to get together again,” she said. “It’s in everybody’s interest, it’s just going to take time.” Top Stories

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