New Vaccines Accepted to Enter Canada

Just as Health Canada approved the Pfizer vaccination for children between the ages of 5 and 11, Canadian officials also announced several measures on November 19, which are impactful to employers who relocate assignees and transferees to Canada.

Up until this point, Canada has had a bit of a two-tier system of entry to the country from foreign travellers.  For those who have received the Pfizer-BioNTechModernaOxford-AstraZeneca or Johnson & Johnson vaccines (these are the four shots approved for use by Canadians), these people do not have to quarantine for 14 days upon the arrival.  They do still have to complete the ArriveCan app and provide the results of a negative PCR test, taken no more than 72 hours before their flight. 

Vaccination List has Expanded

With the November 19 announcement, fully vaccinated travellers with the shots from Sinopharm, Sinovac, and Covaxin will be allowed to enter Canada starting November 30. This comes as a relief to many employers who have been relocating assignees from places like India, Brazil and China.  From India to Canada, relocation was particularly confusing as that country has two main vaccines – Covaxin and Covi Shield; those relocated to Canada with the former had to quarantine for 14 days, while those with the latter did not have to.  Now all those vaccinated in India (in large regard) will no longer have to quarantine. 

This move will align Canada with the World Health Organization, which has also approved these vaccines for use. According to Doctor Teresa Tam, the acceptance of this new group of vaccines is because of the W.H.O.’s “process in terms of evaluation of safety, efficacy and quality,” and she goes onto say, “we’ve taken that into account as we increase the list of vaccines for Canadian border measures.”

Please see the Canadian Government website for more information: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-health-products/covid19-industry/drugs-vaccines-treatments/authorization/applications.html

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