Why can't COVID-19-vaccinated individuals travel to the U.S.
They might not have been vaccinated using shots that are recognized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the World Health Organization.
Lifting overseas travel restrictions in November, U.S. required that all adults entering the country be fully vaccinated using shots approved by the FDA or permitted by WHO.
The most commonly used vaccines don't meet this criteria, including Russia's Sputnik V and China's CanSino. Sputnik V can be used in over 70 countries, while CanSino can only be used in nine. WHO is still waiting for more information about the vaccines to make a decision.
To ensure that vaccines are safe and effective, they must be tested and reviewed by WHO and FDA. Experts say that some vaccines are unlikely to be recognized by these agencies, even though they are widely used.
"They won't all be evaluated with the required rigor in clinical trials," stated Dr. William Moss (executive director of Johns Hopkins International Vaccine Access Center).
People who have received the Novavax vaccine in full during a late-stage clinical trial are exempt from the U.S. rules. Because it was a rigorous, independent study, the U.S. will accept the vaccine-assisted participants.
People who have received two doses of any combination of vaccines from the WHO or FDA lists are allowed to enter the U.S.