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When vaccines spell closed doors in travel

Vaccines can restart travel. But first, the world must recognise the same ones: WTTC.

Warning from WTTC comes amid increasing reports of travellers being blocked at borders over vaccine incompatibility.
Warning from WTTC comes amid increasing reports of travellers being blocked at borders over vaccine incompatibility. Photo Credit:Getty Images/ake1150sb

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) is warning that a lack of one universally accepted list of approved Covid-19 vaccines is impeding the restart of international travel.

The warning from WTTC follows growing reports of travellers being turned away at borders because the world’s nations do not share or accept a common list of internationally recognised Covid-19 vaccines. Travellers have also been stopped from boarding their flights to foreign destinations for the same reason.

Such occurrences still happen despite most vaccines having secured the approval of the World Health Organisation (WHO) or Stringent Regulatory Authorities (SRAs), such as the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the Food and Drug Administration in the U.S., and the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

The world travel body is calling for reciprocal recognition of all vaccines and vaccine batches among countries. WTTC’s Senior Vice President Virginia Messina said: “Reciprocal recognition of all vaccine types and batches is essential if we are to avoid any further unnecessary and damaging delay to restarting international travel.

“The failure of countries to agree on a common list of all approved and recognised vaccines is of huge concern to WTTC, as we know everyday travel is curbed, more cash-strapped travel and tourism businesses face even greater strain, pushing ever more to the brink of bankruptcy.

“We can avoid this by having a fully recognised list of all the approved vaccines — and vaccine batches — which should be the key to unlocking international travel, not the door to preventing it.

“It will also give holidaymakers and travellers the confidence they need to book trips, flights and cruises, confident in the knowledge that their fully-vaccinated status will be internationally recognised.”

Source: Travel Weekly Asia


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