Citizens of Canada who have received mixed doses of COVID-19 vaccines, one of which is the Indian-made Covishield vaccine, face barriers when traveling to Europe because many countries do not recognize the Covishield vaccine.
Several months ago, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia allowed the country’s citizens to be vaccinated with mixed doses of the coronavirus vaccine.
However, because Covishield is not yet approved for use by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), Canadians face harassment as they are subject to testing and quarantine requirements when traveling to many EU countries, even though they have been fully vaccinated against the disease .
Despite the fact that Covishield has not been approved for use by the EMA, the vaccine has already been recognized by 15 countries in the European Union after it was added to an emergency use list by the World Health Organization earlier this year.
TheSchengen.com previously reported that Canadians vaccinated with the Covishield vaccine may face such restrictions.
In order to facilitate the travel process for Canadian citizens, Quebec is now offering an additional dose of the mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) to people who plan to travel to countries that do not recognize their mixed vaccination status. However, the Quebec Ministry of Health has noted that there may be risks associated with an overdose.
In this regard, the chief scientist of the World Health Organization (WHO), Somya Swaminathan, advised against mixing coronavirus vaccine doses from different manufacturers saying that this is a “slightly dangerous trend,” TheSchengen.com reports.
However, Canada’s Public Service and Procurement Minister Anita Anand did not endorse such a statement by Swaminathan.
“I will just say we did it based on science and we will continue to follow the science,” Anand said.
Similar to the minister, infectious disease specialist Lisa Barrett said it is safe to mix different doses of the vaccine although there is limited data that provides information on whether the level of protection is the same even when mixing different doses of the vaccine.
“Some data suggests that it’s best to have two different vaccines. Should people feel unprotected because they got two different types of vaccine? Absolutely not,” Barrett stressed.
Fully vaccinated Canadians were also not included in the UK’s plans, which announced that fully vaccinated travelers arriving from the US and EU would no longer be subject to quarantine requirements, starting on August 2.
According to official data provided by the Government of Canada, as of July 28, the country has administered 48,493,110 doses of the coronavirus vaccine.