Covid vaccine confusion risks more holiday heartache and damaging delays

Further easing of international travel restrictions could be seriously delayed without global recognition of all approved Covid-19 vaccines.

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has issued a warning over fears that tourists will be turned back at borders because countries do not have a common list of internationally recognized Covid-19 vaccines.

It comes just days after a number of British holidaymakers, who had received the Indian Covishield batch of the Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine, were barred from entering Malta despite the drug being chemically identical to the UK-made vaccine. -United.

In recent weeks, reports of holidaymakers facing barriers to entry have increased, with some even barred from boarding their flights to destinations.

Virginia Messina, WTTC Senior Vice President, said: “Mutual recognition of all types and lots of vaccine is essential if we are to avoid any further unnecessary and damaging delays in the resumption of international travel.

“The failure of countries to agree on a common list of all approved and recognized vaccines is a major concern for the WTTC. We know that daily travel is limited, that more and more cash-strapped businesses face even greater pressure, pushing them further and further to the brink of bankruptcy.

“We can avoid this by having a fully recognized list of all approved vaccines – and vaccine bundles – that should be the key to unlocking international travel, not the door to preventing it.

“It will also give vacationers and travelers the confidence they need to book trips, flights and cruises, confident that their fully immunized status will be recognized internationally. “

The WTTC believes that the absence of an international agreement creates another major stumbling block for restarting international travel.

This comes after most vaccines have obtained approval from the World Health Organization (WHO) or stringent regulatory authorities (SRA), such as the Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). ) of the United Kingdom and the Food and Drug Administration in the United States, and the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

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The call for reciprocal recognition of all vaccines and vaccine lots is one of four new WTTC guidelines that aim to safely resume international mobility and save the millions of jobs and livelihoods that depend on it. sector, while launching the global economic recovery.

WTTC says catering to travel can be made easier through a combination of Covid-19 testing, vaccination, digital health passes and the use of health and safety protocols, such as wearing masks facial.

This will help save millions of jobs and livelihoods around the world that depend on the sector and jumpstart the global economic recovery.

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