Canada has decided to include COVAXIN, India’s indigenous COVID-19 vaccine, in the list of approved COVID-19 vaccines. Starting November 30, Canada will expand the list of approved COVID-19 vaccines that travellers can receive to be considered fully vaccinated, said a media release issued by the Canada government. The three new vaccines that will be added to the list are Sinopharm, Sinovac, and COVAXIN. Currently, Canada’s list of approved vaccines includes Pfizer, Moderna, Astra Zeneca, and Johnson and Johnson.
Entry only for fully vaccinated travellers
Starting from January 15, 2022, certain exempt travellers will only be allowed to come to Canada if they are fully vaccinated with one of the approved vaccines of Canada. The list of exempt travellers includes:
- Family members of Canadians and permanent residents
- International students above the age of 18
- Work permit holders, except those working in agriculture and food processing
- Essential service providers such as truck drivers
Once this rule comes into effect, unvaccinated or partially vaccinated persons will be allowed to enter Canada only if they meet an exemption. The exempt groups include agricultural and food processing workers, marine crew members, people coming on compassionate grounds, new permanent residents, resettling refugees, and some children under age 18. These travellers, however, will still be subject to testing, quarantine etc. But those who are not exempt and not fully vaccinated will not be allowed to enter Canada.
From November 30 onwards, fully vaccinated Canadian citizens and permanent residents will be allowed to return to the country without COVID-19 test if their trip was for less than 72 hours. However, if their travel extends more than three days, they will have to produce a negative PCR pre-arrival test upon their return. On November 17, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce issued a statement calling on Canada to remove the pre-departure PCR test requirement for vaccinated travellers. In the release, Perrin Beatty, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce had said that getting rid of unnecessary and out-dated travel rules would help Canada’s businesses to get back to work and compete.
More about COVAXIN
Currently COVAXIN has been approved by more than 110 countries. According to a Lancet Report received recently, the vaccine is 77.8 per cent effective. In the beginning of this month, World Health organization issued an emergency use listing for COVAXIN, which is a validation from WHO for the vaccine after assessing its quality, safety and efficacy.