COVID-19: US to accept WHO-approved vaccines for international visitors

Washington: The United States will accept the use by international visitors of COVID-19 vaccines authorized by US regulators or the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said late Friday.

On 20 September, the White House announced that in November the United States would lift travel restrictions on air travelers from China, India, Brazil and most countries in Europe that have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. It was not specified then which vaccines would be accepted.

“Six vaccines that are FDA authorized/approved or listed for emergency use by the WHO will meet the criteria for travel to the US,” a CDC spokesperson told Reuters on Friday.

Late on Friday, the CDC said that “earlier this week, we notified airlines to help prepare their systems for vaccines that will be accepted and added,” as CDC will issue additional guidance and information. Travel requirements have been finalised.”

Airlines for America, a trade group representing American Airlines Co., Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and others, said it was “in line with the CDC’s decision to approve a list of authorized vaccinations for passengers entering the United States.” Delighted, we look forward to working with the Administration to implement this new global vaccine and testing framework by early November 2021.”

By Naveen Bharat Staff


Some countries had pressured the Biden administration to accept WHO-approved vaccines, as vaccines authorized by the US Food and Drug Administration are not widely used in all countries.

The United States will accept fully vaccinated air travelers from Europe’s 26 so-called Schengen countries, as well as Britain, Ireland, China, India, South Africa, Iran and Brazil. Unprecedented US sanctions have restricted most non-US citizens who were in those countries within the past 14 days.

The new COVID-19 vaccine requirements will now apply to nearly all foreign nationals flying into the United States – including those not subject to prior restrictions.

The CDC will still have to finalize and publish new contract tracing rules for international visitors, which it sent to the White House for review on Sept. 15.

The CDC should also detail the rules for exceptions, including children who are not yet eligible for shots, as well as for visitors from countries where vaccines are not widely available. The administration will also have to decide whether to accept visitors as part of the COVID-19 diagnostic tests or have recently contracted COVID-19 and are not yet eligible for vaccination.

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