'This is extremely inconvenient' Canadians with mixed COVID-19 doses unable to travel to some EU countries
With more Canadians getting fully vaccinated, people are starting to travel again, but there is a barrier for those who have mixed doses of the COVID-19 vaccines.
For months now Nova Scotia and New Brunswick has been allowing people to be vaccinated with mixed doses of COVID-19 vaccines.
Cheryl Doherty from Halifax has received a COVID-19 shot of AstraZeneca and Pfizer. Doherty is planning a trip to Ireland in September, however, she is now running into roadblocks some European countries are not accepting travelers with mixed doses.
"Currently when we go to Ireland, I would have to quarantine for five days and then have a negative test before I can visit the country," she said. "This is extremely inconvenient."
Many European countries are not recognizing the AstraZeneca vaccine made in India or many other vaccines used in developing countries.
European countries can decide their own rules for travelers. Thus, creating frustration for those eager to travel again.
During a Q&A session with Dr. Jennifer Russell and Daniel Landry on Tuesday, New Brunswick's chief medical officer of health said the province is following the advice of the National Advisory Committee (NACI), which means the province isn't currently recommending third doses to people either.
"At this time there's no evidence suggesting that the third vaccine is required. We don't have efficacy data on it, and we don't have safety data on it," said Russell.
Dr. Russell also shared that the federal government is working towards a solution in the weeks ahead and that she does not recommend travel for non-essential reasons at this time.
Julia Kent, CAA Atlantic's director of public and government affairs says travel is on the rise right now as more people feel comfortable travelling being fully vaccinated.
"The phone is ringing off the hook," Kent said.
But with the pandemic comes uncertainty with travel, she says.
"What everybody wants is travel to return to normal at some point," Kent says. "We're just working with other jurisdictions, governments, cruise lines, resorts, to figure this out and I think everyone should be patient. It will work itself out."
Quebec is now offering an extra dose of the mRNA vaccine to people who want to travel to countries that don't accept their mixed vaccination status, but Quebec's health department says there could be risks associated with it.
While new data released by Pfizer on Wednesday shows that a third dose of the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine can "strongly" increase protection against the Delta variant.
But as it stands the current rules for people with mixed doses make traveling to some countries that much more difficult during this time.
"I don't have a Quebec address or postal code otherwise I might be tempted to take a little road trip," said Doherty, jokingly.