As it has become increasingly clear, some destinations are not recognizing people as being fully vaccinated if they have received a mix of COVID-19 vaccines.
In Ontario, Health Minister Christine Elliott and Solicitor General Sylvia Jones have already asked the federal government to work with the World Health Organization (WHO) to ensure that Canadians with mixed doses won’t face any hassles while travelling abroad.
“We ask the Government of Canada to work with the WHO to update its guidance to international partners that mixing vaccines should be internationally accepted as a complete vaccine regimen,” they wrote in a letter to addressed to Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc and others on Sunday (July 25).
In Quebec, the government is taking a slightly different approach by offering a third dose of mRNA vaccines to those who want to travel to countries that don't recognize their vax status.
In an interview with CBC, a spokesman for the Health Department said that receiving a third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine doesn't necessarily provide more protection compared with two doses as there are no studies to back up that claim.
Also: “It’s up to everyone to weigh the balance of risks and benefits,” spokesperson Robert Maranda told CBC.
Ontario and other provinces have offered the option of taking one shot each of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines or an mRNA shot after a first of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines.
Mixing the various brands became an option this year due to inconsistent supply and worries over the AstraZeneca shot, which was been linked to rare cases of blood clots.
In their letter to Ottawa, Elliott and Jones wrote that it’s critical for “the integrity and confidence” in Canada’s and Ontario’s vaccination programs that people who “have done the right thing” by taking doses of two different brands are considered fully vaccinated while travelling abroad.