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Canada expands list of approved vaccines

Short on time? Here are the highlights:

  • The Canadian government has announced a number of important additions to its approved COVID-19 vaccine list
  • As of November 30, international travellers with two doses of the Bharat Biotech, Sinopharm, or Sinovac vaccines will be accepted as fully vaccinated for the purpose of travel to Canada

The Government of Canada has announced an expansion of its list of COVID-19 vaccines that travellers can receive in order to be considered fully vaccinated for the purpose of travel to Canada.

The following vaccines are currently approved for travellers to Canada:

  • Pfizer-BioNTech (Comirnaty, tozinameran, BNT162b2)
  • Moderna (Spikevax, mRNA-1273)
  • AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria, COVISHIELD, ChAdOx1-S, AZD1222)
  • Janssen/Johnson & Johnson (Ad26.COV2.S)

Starting 30 November 2021, the following additional vaccines will also be accepted:

  • Bharat Biotech (Covaxin, BBV152 A, B, C)
  • Sinopharm (Beijing) BBIBP-CorV (Vero Cells)
  • Sinovac (CoronaVac, PiCoVacc)

Those additions bring Canada’s list of approved vaccines in line with the World Health Organization Emergency Use Listing. The Bharat Biotech vaccine is widely used in India, which is now Canada’s leading source of international students. Sinopharm and Sinovac both originate in China, which is Canada’s second-largest international student market. Both have been adopted outside of China as well in markets throughout the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America.

In order to be considered fully vaccinated, international travellers must have had at least two doses of an accepted vaccine (or a mix of two accepted vaccines), or at least one dose of the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine, at least 14 full days prior to arriving in Canada.

“Requiring foreign nationals to be fully vaccinated adds another important layer of protection at the border, said Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Sean Fraser. “Many foreign nationals and international students arriving in Canada are already fully vaccinated, and the measures announced today will help ensure that Canadians remain protected against COVID-19 as the economy reopens and international travel returns.”

The Canadian government has also announced that, as of 15 January 2022, only fully vaccinated international students will be able to enter the country. This requirement will apply to students 18 years and older. Those under 18 years of age (and not fully vaccinated) will continue under current guidance, which is to say that will be subject to a 14-day quarantine as well as pre- and post-arrival testing.

For additional background, please see:

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